• Joshua Buck

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Review

A young woman embraces her pregnancy while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn't commit.

This film has a beautiful feeling to it and it feels so gentle like every moment of this movie matters. This is complemented with the excellent and soft cinematography by James Laxton, known for previously working with Barry Jenkins on Moonlight and once again. James Laxton delivers on the cinematography front again as he makes this world feel so fragile and soft like everything is gentle and matters. It brings a layer of depth to the movie to the movie that really brings out the focus on every intricate detail of enhancing every little moment of the delicate story.

The story is very captivating and the sequence where Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) has to reveal that she is pregnant to her own family and then her partners, because he is locked up in jail. I wanted to watch every frame. Never have I disliked a character more as well. With Alonzo or ‘Fonny’ as the closest people to him like to refer him as, mother reaction being absolutely disgusting saying that the baby is essentially a disgrace. Completely forgetting that she is wishing her future grandchild had never been conceived due to her religious values.

KiKi Layne's performance as Tish Rivers felt very delicate and like every detail of her performance mattered no matter what was going on, on-screen. From her plucking up the courage to telling her parents about her pregnancy to viewing a place to live with ‘Fonny’ and the pair goofing around. Even though you can see she isn’t fully convinced about the house that Alonzo has picked. Stephan James’ performance of Alonzo is also captivating as I genuinely felt the pain that he was going through in prison and felt the justification for his violent outburst and understand why Tish just kind of passed it off as she understands his scenario.

This movie to me does a lot to stand out but I don’t know whether it will be memorable in my eyes and in a few years ill turn around and go oh yeah, I saw that. I might remember that one scene where Tish reveals she is pregnant but maybe not the whole movie like I would with the directors’ previous work like Moonlight. That is not to say that this movie isn’t emotionally captivating but to me it needed something a bit more to it, a bit of grittiness maybe, I’m not sure but it did feel like it was lacking something.

Overall, I rate this movie a 4/5.

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