If Beale Street Could Talk

Jenkins does Baldwin

Barry Jenkins follows up his Oscar-winning Moonlight with this stunning adaptation of a novel by James Baldwin. In Harlem in the early 70s, a young woman (Kiki Layne) makes plans for her unborn child while her family (embodied by a fierce Regina King as her mom) works to free her fiancé (Stephan James), who has been arrested for a crime he clearly did not commit. Injustice and anger, yes, but also beauty and hope. The overriding concept in this magnetic film is love, both romantic and familial, an emotion that has been cheapened by Hollywood but celebrated here. Also beautifully filmed and scored. (119 min)