Continuing my personal list of Oscar nominations with a look at the Best Supporting Actor race.
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
I could have dedicated four of these five slots to the cast of One Night in Miami, but I limited myself to just two. Ben-Adir earned one of those for his thoughtful portrayal of Malcolm X. Standing in the shadow of Denzel Washington’s towering performance in Spike Lee’s epic biopic, Ben-Adir manages to make this role his own, highlighting the man behind the legend. We see Malcolm as a husband and father, a nerdy camera buff, a friend. But in several exchanges, we also see the fiery orator who stirred a revolution.
Best Films of 2020
#4 – One Night in Miami…
In a year of strong ensemble casts, none impressed me more than the quartet at the center of Regina King’s One Night in Miami….
King directs a script by Kemp Powers, based on his own play, about an encounter between four legendary Black icons: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.). The four men alternately clash and harmonize about their roles and responsibilities in a society that worships them but would never invite them in for dinner.
Alexander Hamilton is certainly the central character of Hamilton, but you could argue that the lead role belongs to Aaron Burr. Burr serves as the narrator and has more time onstage than Hamilton. He also gets some of the best songs — Lin-Manuel Miranda jokingly bemoaned the fact that he gave two of the best songs he’s ever written to a character somebody else gets to play.
That somebody else is the fabulous Leslie Odom Jr., and today’s SOTD, ‘Wait For It,’ is one of those two songs (the other will show up next week).