If Beale Street Could Talk


If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★ 1/2

One of 2018’s finest films is just hitting theaters. An adaptation of a 1974 novel by late literary giant James Baldwin (the subject of 2016’s Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro), it’s also the latest bittersweet romantic drama from Barry Jenkins, whose Moonlight won Best Picture a couple of years ago. Beautifully staged in Harlem—which has been captured in gold, glowing hues by James Laxton, Jenkins’ longtime cinematographer—the film focuses on two young lovers, 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne) and her artist fiance, 22-year-old Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Race’s Stephan James). The daughter of loving parents (played with great empathy by Colman Domingo and Regina King), Tish finds herself tested when her promising life with Fonny is threatened by a false accusation. Underpinning it all is a lush, transporting score by composer Nicholas Britell that is also among 2018’s best. Watch it at Boston Common, Coolidge CornerKendall Square and in the suburbs.

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