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If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

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In theaters December 25.

A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

Director:

Barry Jenkins

Writers:

Barry Jenkins (written for the screen by), James Baldwin (based on the book by)
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Popularity
79 ( 75)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 24 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
KiKi Layne ... Tish Rivers
Stephan James ... Alonzo 'Fonny' Hunt
Regina King ... Sharon Rivers
Colman Domingo ... Joseph Rivers
Teyonah Parris ... Ernestine Rivers
Michael Beach ... Frank Hunt
Aunjanue Ellis ... Mrs. Hunt
Ebony Obsidian ... Adrienne Hunt
Dominique Thorne Dominique Thorne ... Sheila Hunt
Diego Luna ... Pedrocito
Finn Wittrock ... Hayward
Ed Skrein ... Officer Bell
Emily Rios ... Victoria Rogers
Pedro Pascal ... Pietro Alvarez
Brian Tyree Henry ... Daniel Carty
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Storyline

Baldwin's novel "follows Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover's innocence while carrying their first born child. It's a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families, and their lives." Written by indiewire

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust Love All the Way

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If Beale Street Could Talk See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the fourth film of 2018 to be shot in the Univisium 2.00:1 aspect ratio after Hereditary (2018), A Simple Favor (2018), and Green Book (2018). See more »

Connections

Referenced in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: And The Nominees Are... (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jenkins' Adaptation of James Baldwin is Deeply Powerful
14 October 2018 | by bastille-852-731547See all my reviews

Two years after sending shockwaves through the film world with "Moonlight," which went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Barry Jenkins is back with "If Beale Street Could Talk." Needless to say, the film is excellent and is everything one could hope a follow-up to "Moonlight" would be. The film follows a young African-American couple in Harlem before and during when the man is wrongfully accused of sexual assault. While such difficult subject matter could feel slightly tone-deaf to some in the era of #MeToo, viewers should rest assured that Jenkins handles the material with a delicate and incredibly thoughtful sense of sensitivity. Like "Moonlight," the film's aesthetic qualities feel almost lyrical in tone, which is a beautiful sight to behold. The score is also superb as well, managing to be both quietly rousing and emotionally stirring.

Jenkins' technique of characterizing the setting or settings where his films are set is put to great use here. New York City feels almost like a character in this film, as it adds a rich tapestry to the film's narrative. This sense is heightened further when paired with a meticulous sound design, where even simple and day-to-day sounds like a subway car rolling into the station enhance the viewing experience. The acting is strong and quietly powerful from beginning to end, and the amount of thoughtful character development that Jenkins deploys throughout the story's narrative is commendable. The same can be said to the film's frequent use of narration. In many other films, this could have come off as annoying, but the film uses this tactic to great ends here by primarily using it to enhance the audience's emotional connection to the characters. Such a connection further builds up the powerful nature of the film's narrative, which makes a powerful and deeply tragic statement on the nature of racism without ever resorting to feeling heavy-handed by the end. I will note that the film does take some time to get going and has a few minor redundancies in its beginning scenes. But otherwise, this film is superb and on par with "Moonlight" in quality. Baldwin's prose is not just honored in this film, but it is cherished. 9/10


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