Which added an extra layer of something (although heaven knows what) to the thought process when sitting down to watch If Beale Street Could Talk.
Written and directed by Barry Jenkins of Moonlight fame, a black cast tell the story of black lives in Harlem as a young couple get torn apart after a false accusation of rape.
Both touching and compelling, it's as much a story about black lives today as it is about how black people survived in the early ’70s.
And it's thoroughly deserving of the three Oscar's it is nominated for — although Jenkins not being in the running for Best Director, and the film not being on the Best Film list is puzzling.
But then maybe the Oscar committee didn't want to appear to be racist by highlighting black issues in a film about black issues.
Apparently that's how that works now.
Not that one person's ignorant ramblings still REALLY annoy....
Where were we?
Yes, the actual film.
Based on the James Baldwin novel, Beale Street is that most rare of beasts — a true ensemble piece.
Yes Regina King is up for several awards, and rightly so, and Kiki Layne is getting a load of thoroughly deserved attention, but like a jigsaw this film needs every piece in place to work.
And work it truly does.
With Harlem being brought so vibrantly to life you can almost feel the dirt under your nails, you feel like neighbours of the characters — like you know and care about them — from the off.
And there's not just one story being told here.
At the centre of things are Tish (Layne) and Fonny (Stephen James), the young Romeo and Juliet divided by prison glass after their lives are torn apart.
But then we have Tish and her family fighting for justice, we have Daniel's tale of life inside, we have Fonny's religious family and their reactions to an impending birth...
At every turn, there's an important tale being told.
Then there's the moment Fonny stands up for Tish in the store, and how everything seems to pivot on that one moment.
In Jenkin's capable hands, the whole thing comes together gently and perfectly — tugging on heart strings here, fuelling anger at injustice there, making you feel what the characters are feeling at every turn.
Not a scene, not a frame, is wasted here. Everything has a job to do.
And then there's the score.
Also up for awards hither and yon, Nicholas Britell has crafted something that at first appears to intrude but soon becomes another character — noisily filling in the silences as if the city itself was full of a string section rather than cars.
And through it all, you are guided to an end experienced not just by you, Fonny and Tish but by victims of a rigged system for the past 40-odd years.
It's a measure of the world we live in today that a story from a different time still has so much relevance.
And while some out there will tut, sigh, roll their eyes and wonder why this is still an issue as it doesn't effect them, the rest of us are paying attention.
If Beale Street Could Talk is softly, gently, showing us what is going on in the world, and as it talks so we all should listen.