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TIFF Review: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

September 13, 2018Britany Murphy

Love is one of the most wonderful and pure experiences a person can ever have the privilege of feeling. But when one young Black couple is faced with the unthinkable and suddenly forced apart, the pair have to navigate their newfound separation in the midst of injustice and heartbreak — with only love to keep them holding on.

Tish (KiKi Layne) tells the audience, "I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass." This is the tragic circumstance she finds herself a part of, as the love of her life, Fonny (Stephan James), is behind bars, accused of a crime he did not commit. Their circumstances become all the more dire when Tish finds out that she is pregnant, and the race to free Fonny from his wrongful imprisonment reaches an all-time high.

Based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is an ode to love. For no matter what kind of love that is — be it between a couple, siblings or friends — love is what enables people to endure any hardships that may befall them. Writer/Director Barry Jenkins and his stellar cast, comprised of Layne, James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris and Colman Domingo, truly show the audience the definition of Black love.

If Beale Street Could Talk makes its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 57 min.

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