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The Bell Breakdown for your Jan. 8 weekend

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 14:55:33-05

If you're looking to relax and reset this weekend, you can catch two new movies right from the comfort of your own couch.

Film critic Josh Bell has his two picks in this week's Bell Breakdown.

The top picks this week include a movie that's getting a lot of awards buzz, Regina King's One Night in Miami, now in theaters. Based on a stage play by Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami imagines a 1964 meeting of four icons of Black culture: activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali, singer Sam Cooke and NFL player Jim Brown. The bulk of the movie involves heated discussions among the characters as they work out their issues, and there are times when it can feel like a history class presentation. But the movie does more than deliver talking points from the mouths of famous people. Thanks to strong performances, all four main characters come across as real, multidimensional people, and their one night together still feels like a hangout session among friends. One Night in Miami is now playing in theaters citywide, and premieres Jan. 15 on Amazon Prime.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime is the Irish drama Herself, from director Phyllida Lloyd. Veteran stage actress Clare Dunne co-wrote the screenplay and stars as Sandra, a woman trying to rebuild her life after leaving an abusive relationship. There's literal rebuilding, as Sandra decides to build a house to live in with her two daughters, and emotional rebuilding as she processes trauma. It's a heartfelt and grounded story about the difficult process of recovering from abuse, and Clare Dunne makes a strong impression as both writer and performer. There may be a few too many uplifting montages, but the movie mostly earns its emotional release. That's Herself, now on Amazon Prime.