Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Unbow your head, sister.

Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) have been best friends since they were children, and are now a loving couple looking to move forward in their lives together. The Fonny gets arrested for something he didn't do, and Tish finds herself pregnant and trying her hardest to get Fonny out of prison. Their love for each other and their baby on the way remains strong, but there's no faith in the "justice system."

This has been one of my most anticipated movies of the year and my theater JUST opened it this weekend. Luckily it was worth the wait. If Beale Street Could Talk is a stunningly beautiful film from the way it's shot, to the lovely score, to the actors who really feel like a family on screen. 

Layne and James have excellent chemistry together. The supporting player are also very strong, particularly Tish's family. Her mother, Sharon (Regina King) her father, Joseph, (Coleman Domingo) and her sister Ernestine. (Teyonah Parris) They are an excellent family unite and Ernestine provides some much needed comic relief. I loved the fact that she was making "No one would fuck you" jokes at Fonny's sisters because that is probably the immature shit I would do in her place. 

This movie is very bleak, but there's so much love between all of the characters that it doesn't turn this into one big misery tour. They're being strong, so the audience stays strong along with them. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I'm hip." - Frank Hunt (Michael Beach)


  1. I loved this film. I thought it was great as it's a shame it got snubbed for Best Picture (fuck you Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody). I think it was the right film made at the right time. Plus, that fucking score. Holy shit.

  2. This was one of at least four movies about black issues that lost out to Best Picture to a cookie cutter film about racism that makes people feel comfortable rather than confronted. This wasn’t even nominated which is just mental. Agree with your review and rating.

    1. It is. How Green Book was nominated and this and Blindspotting were not is egregious.

  3. I missed 2 chances at an early preview of this one and when it finally got released it disappeared again a week later. I'm really hoping it gets a home release soon!

  4. I liked the movie a lot but I thought it peaked early in that scene where they announced to other family she was pregnant.

    1. I'm not sure that it peaked there for me, but I do think that was the strongest scene in the entire film.

  5. Hated you had to wait so flipping long. It was definitely worth it though, right? I can't wait to see it again.

  6. I so want to see this film! Great review

  7. SO glad you loved this! You're so right that even though the film is quite bleak, the love between all the characters lifts it up into something more. I felt so full of love after watching it I wanted to hug everybody lol. And it's just STUPID BEAUTIFUL. The colors! THE SCORE! I swooned SO HARD.


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