If Beale Street Could Talk


KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach

Director: Barry Jenkins

Running Time: 120 minutes

Certificate: 15 - infrequent very strong language, strong sex

Country: USA

Format: 2D

"A heart-stopping love story. It’s a terrific film, as sinewy as it is sensuous, interweaving stark social-realist themes of prejudice, oppression and imprisonment with a poetic evocation of love, loss and, ultimately, transcendence."
- Mark Kermode, Observer

"A magnificent love story from Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins. If proof were needed that Jenkins’s directing achievement was far from a one-off, it pulses and dances through every sequence of his follow-up, If Beale Street Could Talk, in all its gorgeous romantic melancholy and sublimated outrage."
-Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

"Jenkins doesn’t scratch the surface of the black American experience. He takes you deep into its bones and suggests that far less has changed than the naive may believe."
-Matthew Norman, London Evening Standard

"A sort of Romeo And Juliet with systemic racism replacing the family feud, this is romantic and infuriating, hopeful and despairing. A sensory, desperately emotional experience for lovers and fighters alike."
- Helen O’Hara, Empire Magazine

"Every shot is immaculate, and there are often intense close ups of the cast, so much so that the film feels very much as if we are seeing the world through the eyes of the young lovers and they are the centre of each other’s world."
- Lewis Knight, Daily Mirror

"Barry Jenkins channels all of James Baldwin’s lyricism and anger into a story of love and injustice that burns with a gentle flame, occasionally blazing into a white heat."
-Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

"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."
-Stephen Dalton, Times

"Here is a film almost woozy with its own beauty and dignity, a film going transcendently high in the face of a racist world going low."
-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Following up his surprise Oscar winner Moonlight, Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s novel of 1970s Harlem in this sumptuous tale of lovers divided by circumstance. Deeply in love, Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) find their hopes for a life for themselves are dashed when Fonny is wrongly imprisoned. Their fight for justice pushes them and their family and their love to the limits and offers a panorama of America during a time of deep change. Once again taking social realist material and blending it with a poetic eye, Beale Street glows off the screen. Yet the undeniable beauty of the film softens none of the films acute messages about life as an African-American in a country rife with prejudice.

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