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It wouldn’t be awards season without an Oscar hopeful from Focus Features, and this year the specialty arm of Universal looks to have a big one with “Harriet.” From “Eve’s Bayou” director Kasi Lemmons, “Harriet” is a biographical drama that tells the story of the abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman. Born into slavery, Tubman breaks free and embarks on a mission to help slaves escape North using the Underground Railroad.

“Harriet” stars rising Hollywood star Cynthia Erivo in the title role. Erivo is best known to theater-goers for her breakout work on Broadway, including winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016 for her acclaimed run as Celie in the revival of “The Color Purple.” Last fall, the actress broke big at the movies with supporting turns in Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” and Steve McQueen’s “Widows.” “Harriet” marks Erivo’s debut as a leading star. The supporting cast includes “Hamilton” Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. as abolitionist William Still, plus Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Janelle Monáe.