If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: If Beale Street Could Talk honors its source material with a beautifully filmed adaptation that finds director Barry Jenkins further strengthening his visual and narrative craft.

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Movie Info

Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple's unbreakable bond and the African-American family's empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honors the author's prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.

Cast

KiKi Layne
as Tish Rivers
Colman Domingo
as Joseph Rivers
Teyonah Parris
as Ernestine Rivers
Brian Tyree Henry
as Daniel Carty
Michael Beach
as Frank Hunt
Ed Skrein
as Officer Bell
Diego Luna
as Pedrocito
Pedro Pascal
as Pietro Alvarez
Aunjanue Ellis
as Mrs. Hunt
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News & Interviews for If Beale Street Could Talk

Critic Reviews for If Beale Street Could Talk

All Critics (105) | Top Critics (18)

Barry Jenkins creates one of the year's 10 best films by celebrating black love and a human connection that can raise you up and move you to tears. Regina King's performance should finally get her the Oscar she's deserved for years.

Dec 13, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

There is a formality to the language here and to the heightened, rather torturously plotted dramatic situations, and so Jenkins wisely tries to put everything across visually as simply as possible.

Dec 13, 2018 | Full Review…
TheWrap
Top Critic

When two lovers look at each other in this movie, the tenderness in their eyes softens everything, creating a radiance that folds around them like a blanket, blunting the world. You feel the warmth, the softness, too.

Dec 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Jenkins' decision to let the original storyteller live and breathe throughout If Beale Street Can Talk is a wise one.

Dec 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

In the movies, love is cheap. It's everywhere and nowhere, too often reduced to a formula or a reward. Beale Street knows better.

Dec 3, 2018 | Full Review…
Slate
Top Critic

The planets of the plot, as it were, are more exciting than the sun around which they revolve.

Nov 30, 2018 | Full Review…

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