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TIFF 2018 Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Beale Street tells a potent story with incredible sophistication and delicacy

On the heels of his Oscar winning film Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins returns with the cinematic gem If Beale Street Could Talk, a film that purposefully encapsules Jenkins’ unadulterated love for cinema. Sporting a unique visual poetry, Beale Street explores the trials and tribulations of a young African-American couple and their family in the 1970s. Their story is beautifully captured with some of the most jaw dropping cinematography that is sure to give tumblr enthusiasts fever dreams. Every frame is a story within itself, as well as piece art. The colours are perfectly balanced from wardrobe to walls, and tones honed through impeccable lighting. Furthermore, the nods to Jenkins favourites are there, specifically Chunking Express. In fact Jenkins relishes in his love for cinema, with a jazz induced score that still calls back to the golden ages of Hollywood one can’t help but fall in love as well.

Jenkins and the cast come together to create some truly intricate sequences. Regina Hall above all brings an unspoken honesty to her role that should have her in conversation for a Supporting Actress role award come Oscar season. While she steals the show, another nod needs to be given to Stephan James who’s gripping portrayal of Fonny is both heartbreaking and full of conviction.

While it’s storytelling might not operate as smoothly as it’s predecessor, Beale Street tells a potent story with incredible sophistication and delicacy.

4.5
Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a Toronto based filmmaker and creative mad man. Legend has it that he spent most of his childhood locked away in a cell beta testing Netflix.