One Night in Miami... ★★★★

Really enjoyed this piece of fan fiction because it does a couple of things shockingly well: 

First, despite this obviously being adapted from a one room play it’s shot incredibly dynamically. Wonderful framing, great slow push ins and micro camera movements to keep any given scene of two to four people standing in a room (or a car or a hallway or a roof) still genuinely interesting to watch. Even the artsy shots circling around behind the action or through the slots of the room dividers come across as fun, the viewer actively cast as a the eves-dropping interloper. Great job by Regina King. 

Second, the casting is great and the dialogue is superb. You get all of these nuanced points of view naturally inserted into long stream of consciousness monologues and natural conversations. Sure it gets preachy, but it always comes out naturally. Casting Leslie Odom as Sam Cooke was also a stroke of genius, I haaate when they cast a musician or singer based on looks and not vocal talent. All four of them though, just the right amount of recognizable without feeling caricature-y. 

In the end it doesn’t amount to too much other than giving you a solid 101 on each of these figures though. Which is fine! Throw in some genuinely poignant thoughts on the current day and historic struggle for black power, you’ve got a really memorable biography thats thankfully trying its best to be anti formulaic.

Jenna liked these reviews