If Beale Street Could Talk
2018, Barry Jenkins, USA, 119 min.
With KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King
- Sat, Feb 1st 5:30pm
- Mon, Feb 3rd 8:15pm
"A timeless romance...A great American novel has been turned into a great American film."—Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
"An absolutely gorgeous movie...a testament to love and survival as ecstatic as it is heartbreaking."—Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
At its heart, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK is a tender and lyrical love story. Based on James Baldwin's novel and set in 1970s Harlem, it centers on Tish (Layne) and Fonny (James), whose burgeoning romance is captured in the sensual, impressionistic style that director Jenkins and cinematographer James Laxton developed in their Oscar-winning MOONLIGHT. But this is a love story that is deeply embedded in the larger contexts of racial injustice and African American family life. The latter provides the basis for two of the film's great set pieces, first in a delicate scene in which Tish reveals her pregnancy to her family, and later in a raucous confrontation with Fonny's disapproving parents and sisters. Seen in glowing flashbacks, Tish and Fonny's romance is framed by present-day scenes in which she visits him in prison, where he has been incarcerated on a trumped-up rape charge. A great ensemble cast is headed up by Regina King (Watchmen), who won an Oscar for her performance as Tish's fiercely supportive mother. DCP digital. (MR)