TIFF 2018: Audiences Share Thoughts on Barry Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’


Sunday evening in Toronto was devoted to the premiere of Barry Jenkins‘ highly anticipated film, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Two years after his monumental Best Picture win with “Moonlight,” Jenkins returns for his sophomore effort.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” is based on the novel by James Baldwin. It tells the story of Tish (KiKi Layne) a young, pregnant woman whose fiance, Fonny (Stephan James), is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. The film also stars Regina King, Teyonah Parris, Bryan Tyree Henry, Finn Wittrock, Colman Domingo and more.

In addition to directing, Jenkins also adapted the screenplay. He won the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay in 2016 with “Moonlight.” This is the director’s third feature film. His first, “Medicine for Melancholy” made the festival rounds in 2008. It had a small theatrical release in 2009. He has also directed several short films, and an episode of “Dear White People” for Netflix. He is currently in development with the series, “The Underground Railroad” for Amazon. That series does not have a premiere date, but is expected in 2019.

The film premiered at TIFF to a packed audience. Many of the early Twitter reactions are overwhelmingly positive, praising the love story at the heart of the film. Stephan James and Regina King seem to be getting the most attention for their performances from the Canada crowd.

Here are a few comments from writers fortunate enough to be in attendance:

Does this news move the film up in your rankings?

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The film is distributed by Annapurna Pictures and will be in theaters on November 30.