2021 Portland International Film Festival

Streamers: “One Night in Miami” plus much more

Movie extravaganzas are in short supply these days, but great films aren't

Herein find a passel of viewing options for the homebound film buff, or as we call them these days, film buffs.

“One Night in Miami”

Okay, so Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Malcolm X and Jim Brown walk into a Miami hotel room in 1964. It’s no joke. On the February night when Clay defeated Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight champion of the world, these four Black icons really did gather at a small motel in Miami. What they talked about, no one knows for sure. But it could hardly have been much more fascinating than the fictionalized version of their conversations depicted in Regina King’s film, based on a stage play by Kemp Powers.

(L-R) Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge star in ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Powers’ screenplay mostly succeeds in its effort to depict each of these out-sized personalities as both a sociopolitical emblem and a fully realized individual.  Clay (Eli Goree) is all swagger until he’s not—a mere kid, muscle-bound and velvet-tongued but also intelligent and righteous to the core. He’s meeting this night with Malcolm (Kingsley Ben-Adir) to discuss his pending announcement that he’s joining the Nation of Islam, which Malcolm hopes will improve his own standing in his ongoing power struggle against the Nation’s leader, Elijah Muhammad.