2018 has been an excellent year in film. We've had teen romances (Love, Simon; Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and urgent dramas (BlacKkKlansman; The Hate U Give); stylish thrillers (A Simple Favour; Widows) and blockbuster smashes (Black Panther; A Star is Born). Now it's time to look forward. Mark your cinematic calendars, here are the buzziest movies to watch next year.
If Beale Street Could Talk
After (eventually) winning his Best Picture Oscar for Moonlight, Barry Jenkins is back. The director’s third feature – an adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel – If Beale Street Could Talk is a gorgeous, swooning romance thrumming with rage against social injustice. When Fonny (Stephan James) is falsely imprisoned, his pregnant girlfriend Tish (KiKi Layne) toils to free him, tracking down his accuser with the help of her mother (a heartbreaking Regina King). The movie is achingly beautiful; each frame, washed with vibrant colours and lit by New York’s late-summer sun, is like an Edward Hopper painting. And yet, the frequent intercuts between these breathtaking visuals and archive footage of police brutality demonstrates the fragility of the young lovers’ happiness, the lurking possibility of chaos. Sumptuous and arresting, If Beale Street Could Talk is exquisite film-making of the highest order and, as far as this writer is concerned, the very best movie of the year.
‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ is released on 8 February 2019.