Saturday, January 5, 2019
MOVIE REVIEW: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Ed Skrein, Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King
Release Date: December 25, 2018
Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance
Rated R for language and some sexual content
Runtime: 1h 59 min
If Beale Street Could Talk is a fascinatingly dense film that tackles a bevy of themes while maintaining an incredible style and intimacy. Barry Jenkins, adapting the book of the same name, delivers a ponderous film that asks for the audience’s patience while the cast unfurls the story. KiKi Layne leads the film with an impressive performance that starts off full of innocence but slowly transforms over the course of the film. She’s a capable and likeable lead, her and Stephen James shares believable chemistry together as the lovers whose story is beautifully tragic and real. Its cinematography creates a sort of cinematic poetry that’s feels authentic even when it’s stylized. Some might take issue with its methodical pace but ultimately it adds so much to the overall experience and it’s ruminations on race, love, gender politics and a handful of other topics.