Run time: 119 mins
So you’ve won an Oscar (only just) for best picture, what next? Well, if you’re Barry Jenkins, you carry on making the films close to your heart; and James Baldwin’s prose couldn’t be more personal.
Set to the backdrop of 1970’s New York, Fonny (Stephan James) and Tish (KiKi Layne) have known each other since toddlers before they fall in love in young adulthood. Fonny, a little older, plans to be a sculptor. She’s just become pregnant when he is arrested and falsely charged with rape. Left alone to tell her news to both families, Tish and her clan work together to clear Fonny’s name and get him back before their baby is born.
If proof were needed that his other directing achievement was far from a one-off, Beale Street pulses and dances through every frame, in all its gorgeous romantic melancholy and refined outrage; with characters staring longingly into the camera, like an open invitation into a characters’ soul; whether it be trauma, or pure longing, it’s there for all to see (oh dear). Together with a lush, sweeping score, If Beale Street Could Talk is both delicate, and powerful. (research Jack Whiting) Come, see what all the fuss is about.