PREVIEW: A special Valentine’s Day preview of If Beale Street Could Talk will take place at 20.30 on Thursday 14th.
Barry Jenkins follows up Moonlight, his 2016 Oscar-winning triumph, with an exquisitely beautiful, swooningly romantic adaptation of the celebrated novel by James Baldwin (I am not your Negro).
The setting is 1950s Harlem. 19-year-old Tish (KiKi Layne) is married to 22-year-old sculptor Fonny (Stephan James) whom she has known since childhood. Their hopeful plans for the future are waylaid when Fonny is imprisoned having been falsely accused of rape. While he is incarcerated, Tish reveals she is pregnant. Jenkins poignantly juxtaposes Tish’s legal journey to seek justice for her husband, often confounded by institutional racism, with delicate scenes of the couple’s youthful courtship, the lush orchestral score and elegant photography combing to create an intoxicating cinematic experience.
Notes by David O’Mahony