James Baldwin's love story is brought to cinematic life in the official trailer for Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk. The film had its global premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, where it was named the runner-up for the People's Choice Award.
Jenkins' followup to his Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk is already being lauded by critics for its poetic cinematography and rich sense of atmosphere. KiKi Layne's performance as the film's young lead, Tish Rivers, has earned similar praise, along with those from Regina King (The Leftovers), Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead) and Teyonah Parris (Survivor's Remorse) as the members of Tish's family.
If Beale Street Could Talk takes place in Harlem circa the early 1970s, where young Tish meets and falls in love with the up and coming sculptor Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephen James). However, when Fonny is falsely accused of rape, it falls to Tish and her family to find a way to clear his name. For more on the plot, watch the official trailer from Annapurna Pictures in the space below.
In addition to the performances and direction, If Beale Street Could Talk's script (which Jenkins wrote) is being celebrated as an earnest and otherwise faithful interpretation of Baldwin's source material. The If Beale Street Could Talk teaser trailer established the film's reverence for Baldwin's novel by not only arriving on the ground-breaking author's birthday, but even including recorded audio of the writer narrating his own work.
In a repeat of what happened two years ago, both Jenkins and La La Land director Damien Chazelle will have films competing in this year's awards season race. The latter is already being similarly praised for his efforts on First Man, a memoir about NASA and Neil Armstong's journey to the moon that reunites the filmmaker with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling. Both movies have emerged as early frontrunners in the journey to this year's Oscars ceremony.
With films like Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born also generating lots of Oscar talk right now, it remains to be seen if we end up getting another Jenkins vs. Chazelle showdown this year. Of course, for those who don't care about all that, it's just nice to know that both directors are back with great new movies of their own.
Source: Annapurna Pictures
- If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018