Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Tish’s mother, played by Academy Award winner Regina King (Best Supporting Actress) must decide how far she will go to secure her daughter’s future.
If Beale Street Could Talk also received Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins) and Best Original Music Score (Nicholas Britell). The film is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s poignant novel and it is Director Barry Jenkins’ ambitious follow-up to his Oscar-winning Moonlight.
“You’ve never seen romantic love depicted on screen with such lyrical and gorgeous intensity, or systemic injustice brought to such vivid and enraging life.”
Glen Weldon, NPR