Photo from The Stranger

If Beale Street Could Talk centers around Tish (Kiki Layne) as she must balance being a young mother and trying to prove that her fiancé Fonny (Stephen James) is innocent when he is wrongfully arrested.

At first, I wasn’t sure about Tish and Fonny as a couple, they were awkward for me at the beginning of the film, but that is expected from an innocent, young couple. But as you see this couple throughout the film, you fall in love with them. They are the heart of the film and what makes this movie pure.

The performances are all strong, especially from Kiki Layne. Stephen King continues to showcase his acting ability here with some great supporting performances from Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry. A scene between Stephen James’s Fonny and Brian Tyree Henry’s character talking about prison has some of the best acting I have seen.

The musical score and cinematography of the film are absolutely beautiful. And they are my favorite part of the film (it’s criminal that this film wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in cinematography). Barry Jenkins continues to astound me with how beautiful he shoots his films because like Moonlight, you can feel the soul of the film thorough his shots.

If Beale Street Could Talk doesn’t have too much awards buzz, but it’s definitely an Academy Award worthy film and I wish it was nominated more. The love story, cinematography, and score are all stunning and pure. Though I did have a few very minor nitpicks with the film, this is a still a film I would definitely recommend watching if you haven’t already.

I give it an A-


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