If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Harlem woman scrambles to prove her fiancé's innocence while carrying their first child in this drama from Oscar-winning Moonlight writer-director Barry Jenkins, based on the novel by James Baldwin (whose observations on civil rights and American racism formed the backbone of Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro).

Co-star Regina King picked up an Oscar and Golden Globe for her supporting role, and is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar along with the film's other potential Academy Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.

"Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) have known each other since childhood, but only latterly discovered that the safe, easy familiarity between them has bloomed into a love so intoxicating it promises everlasting joy and happiness. But life is not destined to be so easy for a young black couple living in 1970s Harlem. Fonny is falsely accused of a rape and an unjust judicial system refuses to acknowledge the impossibility of his having committed the crime. Tish and her family struggle to exonerate him." (London Film Festival)

Best Supporting Actress (Regina King), Golden Globes 2019 & Academy Awards 2019
2018Rating: MA15+, Strong coarse language117 minsUSA
CrimeDrama
89%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

A work of social realism elevated to poetic heights by the sheer beauty of its voice and the humanism of its spirit...

0
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

press

The strength of KiKi Layne's performance is in how wonderfully it toes the line between youth and wisdom, helplessness and self-determination.

0
The Times

The Times

press

If Beale Street Could Talk becomes a chronicle of crushed innocence and systemic injustice, but also a poetic paean to the healing power of love.

4.0
0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a film with love at its root, both familial and romantic, and Jenkins fills so much of it with a radiating warmth.

4.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Strip away the stylistic flourishes and the result is a familial and political drama that's dramatically the equal of Lee Daniel's Precious or Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit.

4.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Are you in the mood for love yet? Jenkins' movie will put you there.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

If the movie's slow burn seems to build toward a powerful release that doesn't materialise, the sheer beauty of its craft and the heartfelt feeling behind every scene nonetheless command attention.

0
Collider

Collider

press

You can see the broad outline of what Jenkins wanted to accomplish with If Beale Street Could Talk, but the inside is hollow.

0

Baldwin will be spinning in his grave

An over-rich, sentimental telling of an ugly tragic story. It lacks Balwin's acid irony - the film only comes to life when he is directly quoted. It looks gorgeous, the cinematography faultless, the soundscape is brilliant, the acting committed but whereas I wanted Moonlight to go on forever, I just wanted this to end.

2.0
0

Well-acted, but slow and drawn out

This movie is well-acted by every member of the cast, but it is kind of slow and drawn out. It also jumps about quite a lot and leaves out some important details, which kind of make it feel like something is missing.

3.0
0

beautiful story and also very heartbreaking, but as some good funny parts also. and definitely a story we need to see and hear of more often.

4.0
0

BEALE ST COULD HAVE BEEN CALLED REAL ST

Very true to life. Gets you thinking. Great acting.

4.0
0

Heartbreaking but beautiful

4.0
0

Thoroughly enjoyable!

Great movie, with many layers to think about, a good few laughs, lots of love and emotion. Definitely worth a watch, and worthy of the great press its received.

4.0
0

Beautiful if a little staid

4.0
0

A film that resonates with such clarity and beauty.

A film about love and kindness and hate and evil that doesn't manipulate or talk down to the audience. So much unspoken, plenty unseen. Barry Jenkins knows how to film love using all of the cinematic elements available to him. Once again a pitch perfect score that doesn't dominate but perfectly accompanies the beautiful cinematography and gentle acting....

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A work of social realism elevated to poetic heights by the sheer beauty of its voice and the humanism of its spirit...

0
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

press

The strength of KiKi Layne's performance is in how wonderfully it toes the line between youth and wisdom, helplessness and self-determination.

0
The Times

The Times

press

If Beale Street Could Talk becomes a chronicle of crushed innocence and systemic injustice, but also a poetic paean to the healing power of love.

4.0
0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a film with love at its root, both familial and romantic, and Jenkins fills so much of it with a radiating warmth.

4.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Strip away the stylistic flourishes and the result is a familial and political drama that's dramatically the equal of Lee Daniel's Precious or Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit.

4.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Are you in the mood for love yet? Jenkins' movie will put you there.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

If the movie's slow burn seems to build toward a powerful release that doesn't materialise, the sheer beauty of its craft and the heartfelt feeling behind every scene nonetheless command attention.

0
Collider

Collider

press

You can see the broad outline of what Jenkins wanted to accomplish with If Beale Street Could Talk, but the inside is hollow.

0

Baldwin will be spinning in his grave

An over-rich, sentimental telling of an ugly tragic story. It lacks Balwin's acid irony - the film only comes to life when he is directly quoted. It looks gorgeous, the cinematography faultless, the soundscape is brilliant, the acting committed but whereas I wanted Moonlight to go on forever, I just wanted this to end.

2.0
0

Well-acted, but slow and drawn out

This movie is well-acted by every member of the cast, but it is kind of slow and drawn out. It also jumps about quite a lot and leaves out some important details, which kind of make it feel like something is missing.

3.0
0

beautiful story and also very heartbreaking, but as some good funny parts also. and definitely a story we need to see and hear of more often.

4.0
0

BEALE ST COULD HAVE BEEN CALLED REAL ST

Very true to life. Gets you thinking. Great acting.

4.0
0

Heartbreaking but beautiful

4.0
0

Thoroughly enjoyable!

Great movie, with many layers to think about, a good few laughs, lots of love and emotion. Definitely worth a watch, and worthy of the great press its received.

4.0
0

Beautiful if a little staid

4.0
0

A film that resonates with such clarity and beauty.

A film about love and kindness and hate and evil that doesn't manipulate or talk down to the audience. So much unspoken, plenty unseen. Barry Jenkins knows how to film love using all of the cinematic elements available to him. Once again a pitch perfect score that doesn't dominate but perfectly accompanies the beautiful cinematography and gentle acting....

4.0
0