McCann At The Movies: A Film Of Dignity And Beauty From A Quality Director

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John McCann says ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ is a solid follow-up to ‘Moonlight’ from acclaimed director Barry Jenkins…

I really do love Februarys at Tralee Omniplex.

Each week sees yet another award-nominated feature hit the big screen, with the quality of a very high standard before we head for the big budget blockbusters and the influx of superheroes that come with the long stretch in the evenings!

This weeks’ film of choice ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ more than holds its own within the lofty company shown at the Omniplex over the last number of weeks.

Continued below…


After an incredibly successful 2017 due to the impact of the inspiring feature ‘Moonlight’ (which has unfortunately has more famous for the Oscar mix up than the quality of the film itself), Barry Jenkins’ next move was always one that was going to be of interest to the avid movie goer.

Having started work on adapting James Baldwin’s 1974 novel ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ whilst he was finishing Moonlight, there was a palpable sense of anticipation at what was sure to be a fitting tribute to this great book, with the right director at the helm.

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

Barry Jenkins does not disappoint as a lot of the cinematic tricks and features used by this gifted film maker in his award-winning feature are again on show in this critically acclaimed film.

Set in early 1970s Harlem, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ sees daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recall the love, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny.

Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

Honouring the source material explicitly, the director again showcases his strengths as a visual and emotion-evoking film maker choosing to let facial expressions, breathtaking score and atmospheric visuals do the talking throughout.

It leaves the viewer with the impression that his Oscar-winning success of two years ago was not a once-off, but merely a vision of better things to come.

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ may not be to everyone’s tastes however, as it’s slow-paced and poignant style may frustrate some audience members and it is definitely not a feature that will win universal approval ratings.

It is however, for those who chose to accept its’ uniqueness, a film of dignity and beauty from a director who is simply going from strength to strength.


• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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