2018: #1 If Beale Street Could Talk

Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Written by: Barry Jenkins
Based on: The novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin
Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Emily Rios, Brian Tyree Henry, Colman Domingo, and Diego Luna
Distributor: Annapurna
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Format: Digital
Date released: 12/14/2018
Date seen: 10/27/2018
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $17 Million
# of Oscar nominations: 3 (Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Score)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 8 (Score, Editing, Cinematography, Cameo, Supporting Actress, Ensemble, Adapted Screenplay, Trailer)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 4 (Editing, Cameo, Ensemble, Adapted Screenplay)

I knew pretty much the second I saw it that Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk would be in the pole position to be the film of the year and as the year came to its end nothing else really came close to dislodging it.  I think what makes this film stand apart from the competition is that Jenkins has done a masterful job of combining all the cerebral, aesthetic, emotional, and political elements that make a great film.  Emotionally he’s managed to make a really compelling love story at the center of his movie, one that really attaches you to his characters and makes you want to see them succeed.  Aesthetically he’s created a truly beautiful movie with a perfect command of color and of creating iconic imagery.  Intellectually he’s managed to do justice to a novel by one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed novelists and managed to make a very tricky structure work for him.  And politically he’s made a film set in the 60s and 70s that still manages to be incredibly relevant to the struggles and headlines of today and which makes Green Book look like exactly the banality that it is.  Personally, I think it’s better than Moonlight and is the movie that really confirms Barry Jenkins as one of the most important filmmakers of this era.

#2 Year End Honors