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7.2/10
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If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

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A young woman embraces her pregnancy while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn't commit.

Director:

Barry Jenkins

Writers:

Barry Jenkins (written for the screen by), James Baldwin (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
1,025 ( 168)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 89 wins & 165 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
KiKi Layne ... Tish Rivers
Stephan James ... Alonzo 'Fonny' Hunt
Regina King ... Sharon Rivers
Teyonah Parris ... Ernestine Rivers
Colman Domingo ... Joseph Rivers
Ethan Barrett Ethan Barrett ... Young Fonny
Milanni Mines Milanni Mines ... Young Tish
Ebony Obsidian ... Adrienne Hunt
Dominique Thorne Dominique Thorne ... Sheila Hunt
Michael Beach ... Frank Hunt
Aunjanue Ellis ... Mrs. Hunt
Diego Luna ... Pedrocito
Ed Skrein ... Officer Bell
Emily Rios ... Victoria Rogers
Pedro Pascal ... Pietro Alvarez
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust Love All the Way

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If Beale Street Could Talk See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$224,476, 16 December 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,915,773, 11 April 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sound is very important to Barry Jenkins who was a student of sound engineer Richard Portman during his film studies. The latter is known to have developed with Robert Altman the "multitrack" device. The director details the work done by Onnalee Blank, the sound editing supervisor, and Mathew Waters, the mixer his re-recordings. See more »

Goofs

Beale St. is a famous street in Memphis, not New Orleans. It has nothing to do with Louis Armstrong. It is noted for blues, e.g., BB King, among other things. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tish Rivers: You ready for this?
Fonny: I've never been more ready for anything in my whole life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Mist of a Dream
Written by Sidney Banks
Performed by Birdlegs & Pauline
Courtesy of The Numero Group
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe I expected too much.
28 November 2018 | by mharahSee all my reviews

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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