If Beale Street Could Talk – 6

Beale Street is a long, slow street we’re asked to walk, without a happy end in sight. There is one scene that crackles, when the future in-laws come over to hear the news, but if that record plays at 78, the rest is 33-1/3. The two lead actors are bland in their goodness, and the camera keeps lingering. I know we’re supposed to just accept the premise that a random black man can be jailed for rape for no good reason, but the lack of an accuser, witnesses, forensic evidence, motive or opportunity makes this crucial aspect of the plot a troubling hole, rather than a cause for sympathy. And contrary to the title, New Orleans and jazz don’t play much of a role.

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