The movie ended and I sat there in my seat not ready to move because even after the credits finished, I was still taking in all that I’d seen. Beautifully atmospheric, If Beale Street Could Talk left me speechless, made me want more and for so many reasons, made me want to cry. It will sound exaggerated, but the simple beauty of the film was staggering. Its luminosity can be seen in the actors, the sets, the camera-work, and of course, the story. The tale could have been pedestrian: boy and girl grow up together, fall in love, get pregnant, tragedy, end. But it is so much more than that.
Barry Jenkins’ film reinforces the knowledge that Black people are beautiful, multifaceted, resilient and normal. We live, love, laugh, cry, support, protect, fight and we suffer. Living in a world in which our humanity is constantly questioned, abused, ignored, we need this film — need it like fresh air. It is a tender love story full of grace, and the actors, particularly KiKi Layne, Stephan James and Regina King, bring that grace to life.
Everyone should see If Beale Street could Talk.