One of the most anticipated films of 2018 has been “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins followup to the Best Picture winner, “Moonlight” from 2016. The film is based on the novel by the iconic James Baldwin, one of the great American authors of the 20th century. Jenkins already won an Oscar for the screenplay of “Moonlight,” so the thought of him adapting Baldwin excited many cinephiles. Today on Baldwin’s birthday, Jenkins and Annapurna have released the first trailer for “Beale Street.”
Baldwin’s words ring through the trailer, helping to contextual the images on-screen. Many of the actors are given highlights, especially leads Kiki Layne and Stephan James. The teaser gives many members of the cast a moment to grab the spotlight. The gravity of the situation is immediately laid out to audiences, with devasting visuals. The trailer builds tension throughout.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” follows the story of Tish (Layne), a young woman who falls in love with her boyfriend Fonny (James). Living in New York, the two become engaged and Tish finds out she’s pregnant. However, Fonny is accused of raping a Puerto Rican woman, causing his arrest and jailing. The story follows Tish as she attempts to free Fonny, and live her life.
Jenkins directs an incredible cast featuring Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King, Emily Rios, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Finn Wittrock, Teyonah Parris and more. He also returns much of the below-the-line crew from “Moonlight” and it shows. Talent is clearly visible in every aspect of the film, making this one of the big question marks of the awards season. It will make its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 30th, 2018.