If Beale Street could talk

I should have liked “If Beale Street could talk” a lot more than I did.
How I’ve yearned for scenes in film that take more time when the exchanges are taking place.
Makes salutary points about how racism in 70s USA could lead to huge injustice.
And it’s nominated for Oscars.
And I have a James Baldwin poster on the wall.
And the critics like it (Observer – 5 stars).

Some tremendous scenes. Yet it dragged.
There was too much time in-between the exchanges. Often filled with a fascination with smoking – the sound of cigarette paper burning and how cigarette smoke rolls through the air.
And the sound balance (you might say mix) was wrong – the music between the exchanges was too loud; some of the noises given undue significance (one example – I saw people in the cinema distracted by a sound effect coming out through the middle left speaker).
Making the film distracting and tiresome, and it didn’t need to be this way.
Some quibbles about editorial judgement too – the would-be grandmother reduced to gibbering as she left.
(2 stars; e:3, s:4, p:2).
(Hearing the alternative to our national anthem over the credits was interesting – such a shame the words are as stuffy as they are – “’tis of thee”.)

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