If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Barry Jenkins directs KiKi Layne, Stephan James and Regina King in the adaptation of James Baldwin’s classic work of literature about young lovers struggling in Harlem.

I read the book as a teenager and although my memories of the plot were vague I do still remember the beauty of the writing and the anger that bubbled furiously within Baldwin’s words. Jenkins does a serviceable if somber job of recreating that mood, aided by James Laxton’s rich cinematography and yearning urgent score by Nicholas Britell. The young leads don’t fully hold our attention in the slower sequences (of which there are many) but an excellent support cast impresses with pitch perfect performances.

7

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