If Beale Street Could Talk

"Moonlight director Barry Jenkins cements his high reputation with this mesmerising adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel" ★★★★★ Mark Kermode, Observer

Showing Times

Oscar Winner:  Best Supporting Actress, Regina King

When childhood friends Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephen James) meet again as young adults, their attraction is instant and profound.  Bright, responsible, and with loving families at their backs, the future would seem to be theirs.  A harsher reality intrudes, though, when a racist policeman fits Fonny up on a trumped-up rape charge.  In goal on remand with no hope of bail, the news that Tish is pregnant comes as bittersweet.  Both families pull together and, against a woefully stacked deck, strive to get justice for Fonny.

It's a tall order to follow up a truly remarkable film like Moonlight, but writer/director Barry Jenkins has succeeded. Based closely on James Baldwin's 1970s story, this might be seen as a Romeo and Juliet of its time.  Love is the over-arching theme - "Without love we wouldn't be here" - but Jenkins again seeks to expose the experience of being black/an outsider in a prejudiced world, while also looking for universal truths from particular stories.  Those are lofty ambitions, but Jenkins' unique talent for simultaneously stark and poetic story telling serves him well once more! 


Film Information

119 mins

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