'If Beale Street Could Talk' trailer shows why film is already an Oscar favorite

Despite being upstaged by Envelopegate, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017, launching him to the forefront of American cinema’s directorial class. Now, anticipation is mounting — and Oscar chatter is commencing — for his follow-up, If Beale Street Could Talk. And from the looks of its official trailer, released Thursday, the film is more than ready to meet those lofty expectations.

Based on the 1974 novel of the same name by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk concerns the tumultuous 1970s relationship of young Harlem residents Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James), whose romance is upended when Fonny is falsely accused of raping a local Puerto Rican woman. Compounding matters further, no sooner has Fonny been imprisoned than Tish discovers that she’s pregnant with their first child — instigating an effort to free him before the baby is born.

That premise is the basis for a lyrical drama that was greeted with rapturous reviews following its Toronto International Film Festival premiere, where Yahoo Entertainment dubbed it “equally as beautiful, equally as poetic, and equally as affecting” as Moonlight. Which means that you should expect to hear quite a lot more about Jenkins’s latest in the ensuing months, and in particular, about the revelatory performance by KiKi Layne.

Co-starring Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, and Ed Skrein, If Beale Street Could Talk arrives in theaters on Nov. 30.

See the new poster:

The poster for<em> If Beale Street Could Talk</em>. (Image: Annapurna Pictures)
The poster for If Beale Street Could Talk. (Image: Annapurna Pictures)

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