Regina King’s Directorial Debut, ‘One Night In Miami,’ Is Being Hailed As A Major Oscar Contender

Regina King already has an Oscar for her acting. She might win another for her directing.

On Monday, One Night in Miami, the directorial debut from the If Beale Street Could Talk actress premiered to unanimously positive reviews at the Venice Film Festival. The 1964-set film tells the “inspired by true events” story of boxer Cassius Clay, activist Malcolm X, football star Jim Brown, and singer Sam Cooke celebrating Clay winning the world heavyweight title over Sonny Liston in a Miami hotel room. The screenplay was written by Kemp Powers (it’s based upon his stage production of the same name).

One Night in Miami “hits so hard because it remains joyfully, often painfully grounded in what makes a person extraordinary, even when the world isn’t ready for them. Here’s hoping this world is ready for what King has to show it,” IndieWire‘s Kate Erbland wrote in her glowing review. The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney added, “Here’s hoping that King, one of our most consistently excellent screen actors, continues to spread her wings in this direction.” Variety even went so far as to call the film the “first solid Oscar contender to drop” during the 2020 film festival season.

Beyond the accolades, however, Miami also made long-overdue history, as it’s the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected for the Venice Film Festival:

At the event on Monday, King recognized that the success or failure of One Night in Miami could have ramifications for other black female directors. “It’s interesting because how this film performs will open doors or maybe close doors for more black female directors… That’s how things seem to work,” she said.

One Night in Miami, which stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, does not currently have a release date, but it will be distributed by Amazon Studios.

(Via the Guardian)