If Beale Street Could Talk, based on Baldwin’s 1974 book of the same name, is the second adaptation of a Baldwin novel ever, and the first in the English language. And if anyone was going to bring Baldwin’s rich and powerful prose to the screen, the Moonlight director is the perfect fit. Set in the 1970s, the film follows the 19-year-old Tish (newcomer KiKi Layne), a pregnant woman in Harlem whose childhood best friend and boyfriend Fonny (Stephan James of Race and Selma) is in jail on a false rape accusation. Though the film is about Tish and her family fighting to get Fonny free before the baby arrives, it’s also a love story.
The first trailer captures that romance beautifully, weaving together dreamy moments of Tish and Fonny falling in love on the streets of New York. Shot by Moonlight cinematographer James Laxton, the film is brimming with colorful, stunning imagery, and another great smoking scene that makes cigarettes look way too sexy. (Seriously Laxton, stop making me consider picking up smoking.) I saw the film at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, and it’s every bit as gorgeous and mesmerizing as the trailer teases. You’ll also get a taste of Nicholas Britell’s (also of Moonlight) magical score in the trailer.
If Beale Street Could Talk also stars Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry – who gives an unforgettable performance in one of the film’s best and most powerful scenes – Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Ed Skrein, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, and Pedro Pascal. You can soak in Jenkins’ latest when it hits theaters November 30.