Director and Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins’ latest film,
If Beale Street Could Talk, is already getting the Moonlight treatment, garnering rave reviews and early Oscar buzz from critics. The film, based on the book of the same name by novelist and American treasure James Baldwin, focuses on the life of Tish (Kiki Layne), a Black woman living in 1970s Harlem who sets out to prove the innocence of her incarcerated husband Fonny (Stephan James). Fonny was wrongly accused of rape and imprisoned before the birth of their first child.
The film also stars high-caliber talent Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King. King’s acclaimed performance is already being shortlisted by pundits as a contender (and possible frontrunner) for Best Supporting Actress at the 2019 Academy Awards. But Barry Jenkins recently revealed that Baldwin, who died in 1987, had his own ideas about who should star in the movie adaptation.
In an interview with The New York Times, Jenkins shared that Baldwin had written down in a notebook a list of actors including the late-greats Ruby Dee and Rosalind Cash. As for directors, Baldwin envisioned the visionary eye of filmmaker and groundbreaking photographer Gordon Parks, Lloyd Richards and The 400 Blows director Francois Truffaut. But with Jenkins at the helm and this stellar cast, this adaptation is sure to do Baldwin justice.
If Beale Could Street Talk arrives in theaters on November 30.