Regina King’s ‘One Night in Miami’ Creates Oscar Buzz At Venice Film Festival
The 77th Venice Film Festival, which has less star power this year due to COVID-19, is still screening films. One film, One Night in Miami, Regina King’s directorial debut, is already creating Oscar buzz.
The film, released by Amazon Studios, recounts the story of the meeting of Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) on the night Ali defeated Sonny Liston in February 1964. The fictional account shows the four icons discussing the civil rights movement as they celebrate Ali’s surprise title win over Sonny Liston in a Miami hotel room.
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In 2019, Regina King won her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. Her new film, which is being praised for its restraint and detail, might put King on the path to winning her second Oscar. The actress has also won Emmy awards for her work on the television series American Crime and Seven Seconds. This year, she is nominated as lead actress for Watchmen.
In the past 92 years, only five women have been nominated for best director at the Academy Awards, and none of them have been Black. Some have criticized the academy for recently snubbing Ava DuVernay for Selma and Dee Rees for Mudbound, films that were nominated in other categories including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
One Night in Miami is based on a play written by Kemp Powers, which was first performed in 2013. Powers has also written the screenplay, which explores the relationship between boxing legend Ali, activist Malcolm X, singer-songwriter Cooke and NFL football player Jim Brown. Although the film is fictional, the four men were in fact friends during the Civil Rights era.
Even if she doesn’t win the Oscar, King is already making history with One Night in Miami. The film is the first motion picture directed by a Black woman to be selected in the history of the Venice Film Festival. It will be screened next at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.
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