Speed Reads

Coming Soon

Here's your first look at If Beale Street Could Talk, from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins

On Thursday, Annapurna Pictures released the first trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk — and it's an emotional doozy. The film, based on James Baldwin's seminal 1974 novel of the same name, chronicles the rollercoaster love story of a young couple separated by a wrongful imprisonment.

Set in New York City's Harlem neighborhood in the 1970s, If Beale Street Could Talk chronicles 19-year-old Tish and 22-year-old Fonny's relationship as Fonny is framed for rape and jailed — after which Tish discovers she's pregnant. The trailer eschews linear plot moments in favor of conveying an overarching mood, using a series of striking quick cuts to capture moments of emotion in the couple's quest to free Fonny from jail in time for the birth of their child.

The film will be directed by Moonlight's Barry Jenkins, and will star Stephan James as Fonny and Kiki Layne as Tish. Regina King plays Tish's supportive mother Sharon. If Beale Street Could Talk will hit theaters this fall; in the meantime, catch the visually arresting trailer below. Kimberly Alters