If Beale Street Could Talk Reviews

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January 16, 2019
The two main characters and their arc are what make this story both endearing and heart-wrenching.
½ January 16, 2019
Very worthy and important story, appealing and skilled actors, depicting loving, strong and family, as well as the leading couple,who are all just trying to live worthwhile lives in a demanding, segregated society, and come up against more than injustice, pure evil. But something is just lacking in the overall direction, too flat for a topic still so important today.
January 16, 2019
Powerful movie set in the 70's but sadly rings true of the many sides of racism that still exist, especially when it comes to incarceration.
January 15, 2019
What a movie. This would have easily made my top ten films of 2018 if I had caught it during its limited release. Director Barry Jenkins last film Moonlight (2016) was one of my favorites of that year and here he goes starting to easily become one of my favorite newer directors. Based on the 1974 novel of the same name by James Baldwin If Beale Street Could Talk is a love story about a young lady named Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) who at the age of 19 is pregnant with her fiance Fonny (Stephan James). The problem is Fonny is in prison for a crime he did not do (and couldn't have possible done). The film is set in the early 1970's and there's a lot of racial prejudice going on and Fonny and Tish are just experiencing it first hand. Along with her mother Sharon (Regina King) and father Joseph (Colman Domingo) Tish works hard to try and get Fonny out of jail before the birth of their child. That's the story in a nutshell. We get voiceover from Tish explaining how life is, how her love for Fonny started, and just about everything leading up to Fonny's arrest. I don't say this too often, but this is a downright beautiful movie. It's one of those movies that you're going to think about for days after. It's a movie that goes over love. How powerful love can be between two people to get you through the hardest times in life. It shows sections and moments that I can only describe as absolutely breathtaking and something thats just relatable. On the flip side the movie also powerfully goes over how crooked the system was and is for people of color. Fonny is caught up in some straight BS. He is targeted by a racist cop and it basically ruins his damn life. It's frustrating and very angering, but that's part of the beauty of this film. Barry Jenkins takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. One moment your in awe because you're witnessing some beautiful love story then it brings you back down because then you're witnessing a girl get attacked. It's hard to explain, but it just works so well and I have to commend Jenkins on the direction this movie takes. The cinematography is wonderful here. I literally loved the way things are shot. There are a lot of direct on head shots as though the characters are looking right at you. It just makes you feel what's going on. It immersed me a lot into the film and I liked all the characters even more. Not to mention the lightning in this movie is great and I never bring that up. Two scenes in particular stood out. When Tish and Fonny get approved for a new home and are celebrating on the street...I kid you not maybe the best lighting I've ever seen to set the mood just damn right. I'm a sucker for any kind of movie shot during dawn (American Graffiti (1973) always comes to mind) and this was a prime example of it done right as well as the scene where Sharon goes to Puerto Rico. Lastly the performances. Newcomer KiKi Layne was great in this one and I really felt for her, but Stephan James as Fonny was fantastic. I recall him being in Selma (2015) and that's about it, but I enjoyed all of his scenes. He has a very powerful kind of aura to him that bleeds through to his character it's all very believable. One more special shoutout was Colman Domingo as Joseph Rivers (Tish's father) he was fantastic and I hope to see more of him in movies like this. Overall, if you couldn't tell this is one of those films that is sad, but it's sad and beautiful in it's own way. I can't recommend it enough. Check it out.
½ January 15, 2019
Acclaimed director Barry Jenkins follows up his 2016 Best Picture winner "Moonlight" with this adaptation of author James Baldwin's "If Beale Street Could Talk." It's a film that ultimately isn't as hard-hitting or as unforgettable as other pieces about institutional oppression have been in recent cinematic history (i.e. "Boy Erased," "12 Years A Slave," etc.) Though, that doesn't mean it's not without its own specific merits. The acting -- for the most part -- is fine, the intention is solid, and the presentation is appropriately artful. Overall, it may just be a good film struggling mightily to be great. But that doesn't take away from the very clear "good" that exists within it.
January 15, 2019
Slow, intimate, beautiful, love.
January 15, 2019
Boring, slow, music awful, story not developed and just plain not interesting
January 15, 2019
I guess it was okay. I absolutely love black film in regards to black love, black history, I just love it all. So I was so excited to see this film, but what I got wasn´┐ 1/2(TM)t what I expected by a long shot. Okay two young black teens fall in love and have a child, the young man is held victim by your corrupted racist policemen and lack of justice system. He takes a plea, like every other black man in the system. The same story line holds true for hundreds of black men, going back decades!! But that´┐ 1/2(TM)s it...what else!!! We already knew this, I feel like the story line and plot could´┐ 1/2(TM)ve did a lot better. It took forever to ge the movie going in the first place, but when it got going it was over in the blink of an eye. So yeah, eeeh. Regina King is my girl, and I will always support, but this didn´┐ 1/2(TM)t make the classic movie list for me.
January 15, 2019
Outstanding depiction of a Time, along with the sense of place. A love story with no Hollywood ending.
Cinematography didn't match Roma, but I liked this one better overall. Maybe due to it being in English? Anyway, I briefly thought of Roma during the movie, due to current awards season, etc.
Left the theater feeling I easily got my moneys worth.
½ January 14, 2019
Beautiful movie, but oh, so, s-l-o-w.
January 14, 2019
This movie is one of the worst constructed films I have seen in the last 10 years. It's shameful to see such talent wasted
January 14, 2019
Think will be great movie from real life. I will watch that movie using boxxy software app, it's free.
January 13, 2019
If you love a Spike Lee Joint, you'll love this movie.
January 13, 2019
Why I hated this film. Let me start by saying I absolutely love "The Green Book", easily a "Best Film" contender for the upcoming Oscars. Beale Street beats you up on black oppression. It had to be set in the past because modern genetic detective work would not make it believable today. There are colorful characters for sure and there are definitely some great scenes. I look forward to seeing these great actors in more entertaining films in the future. But, at the end of the day this film was just boring! I see three films a week as a profession script writer, even saw "Teen Titans Go" with my nephews. I have not once checked the time in the last year or more. I checked the time three times during this film! Lastly, Barry Jenkins III could have saved this film if only there was an emotional pay-off at the end. There wasn't! It was just boring and depressing. Just 2+ hours, 3 if you count the trailers and time to get there etc. I don't even recommend this for home viewing. Of course, this will put it top of the list for the Oscars as yet another self-flagellation in response to the long American history of black abuse. If you are too happy and need to depress yourself without learning almost anything a relatively educated person already knows, this is a great film for you to see!
January 13, 2019
Beyond slow. The camera holds on shots intermibably and for no good reason. It would have been a very good 90 minute movie. Making it last two hours kills it.
January 13, 2019
Deliberate. Languid. Beautiful. "If Beale Street Could Talk" is reaffirmation that Barry Jenkins is a masterful director. Here, he shows an honor and love of the words of James Baldwin. While in other movies, voice over is a lazy way of filling in the story, in IBSCT it is to be forgiven because of the respect it is giving to the source material. Even in the regular dialog amongst our characters, such as our leads play touchingly by Kiki Lane (Tish) and Stephen James (Fonny), there is a poetry. The story takes us back to a time that I for one remember vividly. And the messages are timeless. A hail of praise deserves to be heaped on the ensemble. My standout in the role of Tish's father James is the actor Colman Domingo. The way James stepped up at the time of his daughter's pregnancy, while the Fonny was in jail awaiting trial, touched my heart. James is a man with a big laugh. I think I had him for an uncle.
½ January 12, 2019
It's possible that I've been numbed from the fantastical overly-dramatic exuberant, but in a world where SJW movies come out every other week and *usually* get critically acclaimed by critics and audience alike, If Beale Street Could Talk plays things unnecessarily safe and is dull to a beat. None of the main characters make any unexpected tough decisions, and for a long time I kept wandering to myself where this movie was going. Also while the score is mostly good and matches the emotional beats of the movie, there are times where it sounded like a horror movie, making things sound off and annoying. The only two good things from this movie were its cinematography (great lighting) and how good they make Stephan James look (probably made me 1% more gay). If you're looking for a overly drawn-out love story with *some* social justice, maybe this movie is for you. Otherwise I couldn't wait to get out.
January 12, 2019
Great social commentary but incredibly slow paced. I was dying for something, anything to happen other than the annoying music. Yawn
January 12, 2019
I understand the praise this movie is getting but it's really just not for me. To be honest, it put me to sleep. The acting from the main female actor lacked emotional depth. The story was all over the place a far as narrative. The directing appeared like it was trying to hard to be artsy and the music was irritatingly annoying. It has good voice over moments but other than that it's lacking in a lot of areas.
January 12, 2019
A gently intense love story. The lighting and cinematography is superb. I felt every breath, every moment, every emotion. It's an amazing story of family, struggle, racial injustice and the power of L.O.V.E. "If Beale Street Could Talk" is a beautiful movie. Absolutely beautiful.
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