If Beale Street Could Talk (15)
Dir: Barry Jenkins
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King
US, 2018, 119 mins
If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins’s extraordinary adaptation of James Baldwin’s soulful 1974 novel is a lush, courageous black melodrama set in 1970s New York, a story about love defying injustice—or trying its damndest to. Tish, 19, and Fonny, 22, were once childhood playmates—chubby, laughing babes taking baths together, being raised alongside one another, despite yawning differences between their families’ social and religious beliefs. Fonny and Tish are eager to get married. But before they can, a young Puerto Rican woman falsely accuses him of rape, and he’s hauled away to jail to face a seemingly insurmountable miscarriage of justice involving a lying cop and a legal system that’d rather keep him locked away than pursue the more difficult truth.