From Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk brings a colorful, romantic eye to James Baldwin’s novel about a young couple tragically separated by a false arrest.
Set in 1970s Harlem, the story is told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly describes the passion, respect, and trust that connect her and her fiancé Alonzo Hunt (Stephan James), who goes by the nickname Fonny. Lifelong friends with a pure connection, the couple dream of a future together — having a baby, moving into an artists’ loft. But their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. With a filmmaking style that approaches music, Jenkins dips into Baldwin’s language and follows his characters with devotion. A work of social realism elevated by the poetry of its voice and the humanism of its spirit, If Beale Street Could Talk tells a tale of love and endurance in an unforgiving and racially biased world.
(USA / 2018 / Written and Directed by Barry Jenkins)
R / 1 hr 57 mins.