IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK – A Review by Hollywood Hernandez
If Beale Street Could Talk has been out since Christmas, but it is a hard movie to find movie because it’s only out in limited release. The movie is based on a novel by James Baldwin, who was well known for his books and social commentary from the late ’50s until the 1970s. The movie reflects the racist judicial system that existed in the 1970s that is still widespread today.
The movie’s main characters are Fonny played by Stephan James and Tish, who is portrayed by the young actress KiKi Layne. The young couple has been inseparable since childhood. As young adults, they fall in love and Tish becomes pregnant with Fonny’s child. Meanwhile, Fonny is arrested for a rape that he didn’t commit and the wheels of justice grind by slowly as Tish does everything in her power to get her baby’s father out of jail.
Regina King portrays Tish’s supportive mother and she gives a fantastic performance in her role as Sharon Rivers. After Tish breaks the news to her family, they decide to break the news to Fonny’s family, who are longtime family friends with the Rivers family. Things don’t go well when Mrs. Hunt, Fonny’s holy-roller mother, blames Tish for the demise of her son. However, the two fathers, played by Colman Domingo and Michael Beach, work together in order to get both of their children what they need to survive.
There is a real dynamic between the entire cast that keeps the film interesting. However, it is an extremely sad movie that leaves you feeling more frustrated than angry.
If Beale Street Could Talk is rated R (for nudity) and has a run time just under 2 hours. It’s a movie worth seeking out and on my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate it a JUMBO.