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If Beale Street Could Talk

7.11 h 59 min2019X-Ray15
Academy Award-winner Barry Jenkins brings his highly anticipated next feature to the screen, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s stunning novel, If Beale Street Could Talk.
Barry Jenkins
Kiki LayneStephan JamesColman Domingo
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Teyonah ParrisMichael BeachDave FrancoDiego LunaPedro PascalEd SkreinBrian Tyree HenryRegina King
Adele RomanskiSara MurphyBarry JenkinsDede Gardner
Entertainment One
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usenudityfoul languagesexual contentviolence
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Stream instantly Details
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.3 out of 5 stars

694 global ratings

  1. 63% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

A. M. ShepherdReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 September 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful and important film
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Wow, I really can't understand some of the reviews for this film. Like complaining about the language. Do we live in a universally pretty world where nothing bad ever happens. No. Some people would rather stop watching a film than understand someone else's truth. I would watch this film to the end because it portrays a life I have not lived. We must understand what is still happening, particularly in America, but also in Britain. How many innocent people are in prison because someone does not like the colour of their skin. Or sentenced to life for small crimes because someone does not like the colour of their skin. Because they don't have access to wealth to pay for lawyers. Anyway, don't be put off by these skewed reviews. This is a very beautiful, charismatic and highly watchable film.
30 people found this helpful
C. S. BellReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 August 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Poetic and extraordinary.
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We're so blessed we're living in a time where a film like this can not only be made but also have mainstream appeal. This is such an important film, it's light and gentle and plays out exactly like poetry, utterly moving in every aspect.
14 people found this helpful
SyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 October 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
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James Baldwin is one of the most renowned African-American authors, and this film is adapted from his 5th novel of the same title. Basically, it's a love story between an African-American couple, set in 1970s Harlem.

The direction is great, and the soundtrack is amicable. There is not that much character development, which I feel is part of the appeal. The film makes you feel that the intensity of the love between the two protagonists, remains constant, and the World is simply, passing them by.

I don't wanna spoil the main premise of the film, but I'll just state that it is reflective of the institutionally racist history of America. For those people that run as soon as they see someone "playing the race card", I'd like to state that this movie doesn't place a strong emphasis on race. It is honestly just reflective of the times, and I felt like commenting on that.
5 people found this helpful
Jack RansomReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 February 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
If Beale Street Could Talk
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A film that I have had on my list for a while now and was luckily added to Amazon Prime a few months ago. If Beale Street Could Talk sees young woman Tish (Kiki Layne) embrace her pregnancy as she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover’s (Stephan James) innocent from a crime he didn’t commit.

If I was just rating for visual aspects this would be one of the easiest five star ratings I have ever given. The cinematography of this film is beautiful, every scene is extremely well shot and makes some of the more mundane locations and more destitute and run down areas some of the most visually appealing put to film. From the bold colour palette of the interiors of houses and restaurants to the bleaker and grey apartments and prison sections all very well shot. The lighting and shadows (especially in the outdoor sections) are perfectly in position to make the shot as atmospheric as possible. The score that also accompanies the film is impressive and there is one particular theme that is utilised fairly often and always stands out.

The performances are also very strong here. KiKi Layne narrates the film and is our main protagonist Tish. She is excellent here and goes through a lot of ups and downs during the film and carries a lot of the scenes. She has good chemistry with Stephan James who plays her boyfriend Fonny, he is also very good here, we see a lot of his back story and situation due to the film’s non-linear story structure. The rest of the supporting cast including Regina King as Tish’s mother and Brian Tyree Henry as Fonny’s friend (both of which have a decent amount of plot points dedicated to them) give impressive performances. Ed Skrein, Pedro Pascal, Diego Luna & Dave Franco also appear in minor roles.

However what let the film down for me was the actual plot itself. The relationship between Tish & Fonny is the main overarching narrative but within it are several other plot points that I didn’t find as engaging, that get built up as important and never quite fully realised. The performances are great but aside from the their relationship I wasn’t too invested in anything else. The film also has some pacing issues. The slow motion effect is utilised effectively at times, however it does become repetitive and there are several shots (almost) of Tish & Fonny staring at each other or holding hands which I know are there to establish their great love for each other and to emphasise that they are apart in the present storyline, but I do think they could have been a bit shorter at some points.

If Beale Street Could Talk is certainly worth watching despite it in my opinion being a bit over-hyped. The cinematography is some of the best I have seen, with several ‘pause the film’ worthy moments. The acting from the cast also is brilliant. However the plot itself and pacing wasn’t as engaging as I was hoping and it could have been more focused throughout.
2 people found this helpful
AngelaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Touched my heart so much because not a lot has changed from then until now. The fact that black people are still begging to be treated as human beings and not like something you scrape off the bottom of your shoe! Animals have more rights than them and are treated humanely. Its been so long, too long for this to be continuing in 2021! What has a black person really done to the white man that has been so nefarious. That they have been treated worse than ANY race of people? They were kidnapped from Africa. Name/identity/culture/religion/language all taken away from them. Forced to work. Treated in the worst inhumane way and considered as chattle for HUNDREDS, of years.. Now in this modern time. Nothing has changed. For they are now in mental slavery. Still being killed abd still being treaded inhumanly. All because they were, are still seen as such and the white man cannot get over the fact that they cannot brand them/whip them/rape them or buy them to work their land to make them rich and fat.......but still WE rise!!!!
GSTheoReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 July 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Picture so poor on Amazon, Gave up
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Amazons so called HD standard picture is so compressed now that in a film like this, with a fair few very slow low light scenes, the pixellation and banding totally ruins the picture. (watching Via Amazon Firestick with 200mbps Broadband) My wife and I were already quite bored as this film is pretty slow and not terribly well acted, but I probably would have stuck with if Amazon could deliver what they claim is an HD film. The delivery bitrate is way way off whats needed to enjoy a film on a modern big TV. I want my money back Amazon.
2 people found this helpful
MelanieReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 August 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful film, terrific acting
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A universal love story that grips the viewer with the particular social and historical context of racist 1970s America. The profound and tender portrayal of the central protagonists (supported by an excellent cast) contrasts with the dehumanised way they are perceived and treated. 'Love brought you here' is the film's central message of hope that chimes with even more relevance today. Expect to be moved to tears.
6 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful Film
Verified purchase
Loved this, another thought provoking film from Barry Jenkins, told through the eyes of a young black couple in New York in the 70's. So many positive representations of black family life whilst living with the constant threat and eventual punishment from a racist society. But even within these horrible evil injustices, the focus on the strength of the characters love for each other is the true champion.
5 people found this helpful
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