In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.
John David Washington,
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
African-American teen sweethearts Fonny and Tish are ripped apart when Fonny is wrongly arrested for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman because of the machinations of a racist cop. While seeking justice for Fonny, a pregnant Tish relies on her Harlem community, including her sister, mother Sharon and future mother-in-law.
This film is based on James Baldwin's novel of the same name. I read it at the time and was very moved. It told me so much I didn't know. But that was in 1974, and one has heard the same story over and over since then. Barry Jenkins is telling a period piece, a mood piece. It is brilliantly acted and gorgeously shot. The music is too loud, but maybe that is deliberately appropriate. The narrative moves very slowly, with the deceptive languor of the South. That might work if it were set in the South, but it's not; it's Harlem. It has the feel of 1974, and it certainly could be New York - or Philadelphia or Baltimore - or Chicago or Detroit (which was only beginning to disintegrate then). In short, it doesn't feel tethered. Memphis, it is not. The result is that, unlike Moonlight, which was very involving, this film is rather stereotypical. Again, that was new in 1974. But not now. Today, we see the same stories over and over on TV screens - some of which are sadly still all too true, and others which are probably ginned up and definitely exploitive. I kept looking at my watch and thinking, "will nothing ever happen?", and it didn't. In short, If Beale Street Could Talk does look impressive. (Jenkins' fans are already gushing. And I am one, but I'm not blown away.) Moonlight it is not.
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