If Beale Street Could Talk: Review by @Kush_Hayes
When you hear that Barry Jenkins adapted a James Baldwin novel from 1974, you automatically know that If Beale Street Could Talk is going to bring some massive weight to that trophy hunt at the top of 2019.
This is a heavy movie with heavy themes that not everyone is going to be comfortable sitting through this movies two hour run time. And its designed to be that way. The people experiencing this movie are incredibly uncomfortable and dealing with pain on a scale that cant be measured by the human eye.
Point blank our story is about injustice. Injustice that was happening in the early 1970s. Injustice that is still happening today, particularly to African American males brought on them by corrupt police officers in the United States. Look, I dont pretend to understand a fraction of whats happening, but you have to be blind to not see it and this movie puts one of thousands of stories on center stage and how it affects the people around it.
The chemistry between our main characters in their flashback is warm and genuine and when we are pulled back into the present of our story is when the heartache becomes heavier. Kiki Layne narration of the love her and Stephen James build is not only beautiful but somewhat parallel with sonnets from William Shakespeare and you feel for her character as she goes through not only pregnancy but spending more money than her or her family has to find justice for James her husband. Layne character deals with so much nonsense in her life that you are relieved that her family is as supportive as they are. And it makes you like their dynamic the more you get to know them regardless of how morally grey things get.
Before this is even released to the public it already holds three Golden Globe nominations. Those are for Best Picture and Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Regina King who plays Layne mother in the story. She not only brings her A Game but she brings a few others A Games with her performance in this. As of this writing, I havent seen The Favourite yet, but with Kings performance the category for Best Supporting Actress is going to be an incredibly close contest.
This is a great movie, it needs to be seen in the theater.
Five out of Six Blueberries.