Whether introduced to the work of Barry Jenkins through his Best Picture winner, Moonlight, or his previous film Medicine for Melancholy, two things should be clear. He will explore the subject of love from an unexpected perspective, and he’ll do so in a beautiful, poetic way. And you’ll find the same holds true for his latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk, which has many already predicting another Oscar nomination for the director.
A “final” trailer has been dropped for the adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, and it’s lyrical in its simple beauty. Featuring an ensemble cast to die for including Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Tayonah Parris, Dave Franco, Brian Tyree Henry, Ed Skrein, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Finn Wittrock, Emily Rios, and Michael Beach, the story follows young lovers who find their relationship tested by the law in 1970s Harlem.
It’ll be interesting to see whether audiences let this film stand on its own or if Moonlight will always be the bar that Jenkins must reach. I’m hoping it’s the former.
If Beale Street Could Talk opens December 14th. Check out the trailer and the synopsis below:
Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honors the author’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.