If Beale Street Could Talk: A breathtaking triumph of storytelling

From the director behind the Academy Award Winner Moonlight, comes a groundbreaking film adaption of James Baldwins classic novel, If Beale Street Could Talk.



The excellent Cinematography of If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the classic novel written by James Baldwin, comes Barry Jenkins next feature film after the release of his previous movie, Moonlight. To say that Barry Jenkins had high expectations to live up to with Beale Street, considering that his previous film won best picture back in 2017, is a massive understatement. Despite these concerns, If Beale Street Could Talk was able to be just as good as Moonlight, do justice to James Baldwins novel, and far exceed expectations.

Barry Jenkins has crafted a new classic for years to come, and honestly, I could not be happier to say that. Beale Street is perfectly able to balance both themes and character arcs more so than most movies that came out this year. If Barry Jenkins keeps up this track record of quality storytelling, then he may be one of the greatest working directors of all time.

What this movie gets right is the excellent ensemble cast and their outstanding characters. Both Kiki Layne (Clementine “Tish” Rivers) and Stephen James (Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt) are perfectly cast as the two leads that find love in an imperfect world. Brian Tyree Henry’s role, while short, has so much humanity and passion put into it. Regina King, (Sharon Rivers) who plays the mother of Clementine “Tish” Rivers gives the absolute best supporting performance of 2018. I can most certainly say she deserved the best supporting actress award at the Golden Globes.

Regina King with her Golden Globe / https://www.nation.co

What always excels in a Barry Jenkins movie is his excellent script writing for both theme and structure and Beale Street is no exception here. The dialogue is extremely well written and feels extremely authentic to how people spoke and were like in 1970’s Harlem. This is absolutely sure to win best adapted screenplay at the Oscars.

Barry Jenkins direction a scene from If Beale Street Could Talk / https://variety.com

What truly surprised me the most was how Barry Jenkins’ direction was even better here than in Moonlight. Along with the excellent Cinematography by D.P James Laxton, every frame of this film made an impression on me. It’s so astonishing to see such incredible passion from a director who cares so such about the original source material and delivers a near masterpiece.

If Beale Street Could Talk is a breathtaking cinematic experience filled with brilliant acting, wonderful writing and excellent direction. This is the kind of film that makes me want to be a filmmaker when I go into the entertainment industry.