“There are more than a few love stories being told in Barry Jenkins’ exquisite new movie, If Beale Street Could Talk. (It’s Jenkins’ eagerly awaited first since winning the Oscar for Best Film with Moonlight.) First and foremost, there is the romance of 19-year-old Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne) and 22-year-old Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James), who grew up together in Harlem and have recently become engaged, sometime during the early 1970s. There is also the steadfast loyalty that binds family members together, even under the direst circumstances. Tish is loved most ferociously and unconditionally by her mother, Sharon (a magnificent Regina King), who intervenes forcefully on Fonny’s behalf when he is falsely accused of rape and thrown in jail, just a few months before Tish realizes she is pregnant with his child. But If Beale Street Could Talk might just as well be described as a love letter to the color spectrum — to the ravishing visual possibilities of gold autumn leaves and dusky-blue New York streets. It’s about Jenkins’ love for his myriad influences, among them writer and civil-rights activist James Baldwin, who wrote the 1974 novel on which the picture is based.”—Justin Chang, L.A. Times. Not surprisingly, If Beale Street Could Talk is an Oscar frontrunner in 2019. R. 117 Min.