TIFF 2018 Review: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (USA 2018)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

If Beale Street Could Talk Poster
Trailer

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 (novel)

The follow-up to his first Oscar Winner for Best Picture MOONLIGHT, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK sees one again the victimized black in a prejudiced light.  Based on the book by James Baldwin, the film follows a 19-year old  woman fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before the birth of their child.   

Tish (KiKi Layne) is only 19 but she is been forced to grow up fast. She is left pregnant by Fonny (Stephan James), the man she loves. But Fonny is going to prison for a crime he did not commit, due to, as clearly emphasized in the film by a racist white redneck cop.  For a film with such a fiery plot, Jenkins’ film is extremely slow-paced, sometimes unintentionally funny with many segments plain dragging along.   

One could probably fault the source material for there is hardly any surprise in the story, quite unlike Jenkins’ last film, but Jenkins does not allow his actors or his camerawork to perform as freely as in MOONLIGHT.  The film also shifts uncomfortably among three subjects, Tish, her mother and Fonny.

 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp9cyhARz6U&vl=en

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