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The San Diego to the city of san diego we’re here shirt Toronto audience award has been a good Oscar predictor since 2008, when Slumdog Millionaire was a surprise winner and went on to collect seven Oscars, including best picture. Since then, The King’s Speech, 12 Years a Slave, and Green Book have all gone on to win that awards-season double, while runners-up in the audience award—Argo, Spotlight, and Parasite—have also claimed the best-picture prize. Earlier this month, Venice gave its Golden Lion award to Nomadland—a meditation on the current economic crisis starring Frances McDormand as a “houseless” woman traveling the country in her van—while also honoring its director, Chloé Zhao. (Last year, the Golden Lion went to Joker, immediately giving that film awards-season legitimacy and propelling Joaquin Phoenix to his first Oscar for best actor.) In Toronto, which followed Venice and just concluded earlier this week, the highly influential audience award also went to Nomadland.
One Night in Miami, based on a play written by Kemp Powers, tells the San Diego to the city of san diego we’re here shirt story of Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali) and his celebration with friends Malcom X, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke after defeating Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight boxing championship. It has an electric cast, including the Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., as Cooke, but it is the largely unknown British actor, Kingsley Ben-Adir, playing Malcolm X, who is creating the most Oscar buzz and seems headed for a best-actor nomination. This year’s runner-up, One Night in Miami, the directorial debut of Regina King, is also creating Oscar buzz. (It was not competing at Venice, but garnered extremely strong reviews.) For King, already clearly in the mix for a best-director nomination, it’s been a heady few years. She has won four acting Emmys in the past five years, including the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series on Sunday for her role in Watchmen, as well as a 2019 best-supporting-actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk.