If Beale Street Could Talk Movie Review
Rating: MA15+ Strong coarse language & sex scenes
If Beale Street Could talk, based on the novel by the same name, is set in the 1970s following the lives of a young African-American couple Tish (Kiki Lane) & Fonny (Stephan James), in New York City. Shown in a non-linear way, utilising some beautiful cinematography & colour palates to show when in the story each scene is, we see their struggle to prove his innocence, of a crime he is falsely charged with, before she gives birth to their first child.
Despite some lingering moments that lingered too long & a very awkward sex scene, for the most part the cinematography is breathtaking while confronting & powerful when needed. Ultimately the story & the stellar performance of the cast is the key to this film. In particular Regina King as Tish’s mother, who is spectacular, & Colman Domingo as Tish’s father, bringing a perfect balance of lightness & rawness to the role.
Powerful, confronting, visually beautiful & intensely heartbreaking.
Barry Jenkins, who also directed Moonlight, manages to capture the full range of humanity, from the horror of the worst of mankind through to the selflessness of those who will go to great lengths to help even strangers out. Through his ethereal style of film-making Jenkins manages to show some real & confronting experiences in this emotional story that despite its apparent hopelessness also brings such a sense of hope.
Be prepared to cry not just for the characters in this film but for the millions of people who have/do live these stories in life. I hope that If Beale Street Could Talk will make you, like it did me, feel angry, determined to keep fighting against injustice and ready to do what I need to do to be part of the change that must occur to stop these stories continuing to happen.
If Beale Street Could Talk is definitely not a film for the faint hearted, I do however recommend watching it! Go see it, take someone with you, talk about what impacted you the most from it & what you can do to be changed so you can be part of the change.
Out In Cinemas Thursday 14th Feb 2019.