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Tag Archives: James Baldwin Barry Jenkins If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk Review

11 Dec

There’s no doubt that this is a beautifully crafted film. Britell’s score is the best of the year, Jenkins and Laxton bring a loving tenderness to each shot composition, and the performances bleed compassion and ache with love. But it’s also all a bit too controlled, a bit too removed, a bit too artistically perfect. Jenkins wants to highlight the simplicity of the central romance, but he doesn’t let the rest of the film breathe in the same way. By alternating between grandiose monologues from underused supporting characters and wordless closeups of our main characters, he begins to lose the pure magic of the latter. As the film progresses, it becomes less of a palpable feeling of romance and more a repetitive attempt to capture that feeling. Britell’s score, unfortunately, becomes a crutch in a way. The ending is unsatisfying, but not in a good manner. It feels like the filmmaking and the story are incomplete.

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