Cumulatively, it's a masterclass in film form and philosophy: students hoping to understand Varda's theory of cinecriture, or cine-writing, could do worse than to begin here.
A young boy finds his mundane life transformed by music, in the process transforming himself, but fills the void left by his absence of love with drugs, sex, and bad decisions. It's a standard rock movie setup.
Kayla's struggling. She's a quiet eighth-grader on the edge of fifteen with few friends IRL and even fewer online, where she uploads YouTube entries which go mostly unviewed. She's about to leave middle school under a cloud of ignominy, having been voted 'most quiet' by her peers.
Could writer-director Barry Jenkins have ever topped Moonlight, his Oscar-winning triumph, with his third film? If Beale Street Could Talk, which adapts James Baldwin's cult 1974 novel, comes close.