Loving

Loving

(2016)

All love is created equal.

Based on a true story, this romance from writer-director Jeff Nichols (Mud) sees a white man (Joel Edgerton, Black Mass) and a black woman (Ruth Negga, in an Oscar nominated performance) fall deeply in love in 1967 Virginia. They marry, construct a house, and build a life only to have the racially intolerant law force them to fight for their right to be together - a fight that would last years. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2016.

Flicks Review

Midway through 2016, Loving was THE based-on-a-true-story race-relations drama that had Oscar Winner written all over it. Guess the Academy didn’t receive that envelope. It’s a shame, because writer-director Jeff Nichols has made a worthy rise with the sombre Shotgun Stories, the frightening Take Shelter, the melodic Mud, and the concise Midnight Special. They’re vastly different films – as is Loving – but they all share a warmth and adoration for Southern America that has been a signature of Nichols’ work. He exhales that same romanticism here which, for better or worse, is the best quality of this film.... More

Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard (Joel Edgerton) love each other. It’s that simple. The only thing simpler is that old-fashioned 1960s Viginia racism that doesn’t want them to be wife and husband. Despite getting married in a different state, the powers-that-be force the couple into an historic legal battle.

Weirdly, for what seems like a courtroom drama, there are hardly any courtroom scenes. So if you want to understand the nitty gritty legal manoeuvres that led to significant change, this will disappoint you greatly. Nichols’ focus is on the people, both of whom had no interest in understanding how the law needed to be changed. They just wanted to be at peace in each other’s arms.

Negga and Edgerton engulf their roles, from the affection they share on screen to the dumbfounded looks they give when the world won’t just let them be in love. But aside from one semi-looming threat of racially-motivated violence, there isn’t much that shakes their situation. What you end up with is a very light drama with great performances and a gorgeous eye for Southern America that spends two hours saying one simple thing.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 1 reviews
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BY cinemusefilm superstar

History is full of accidental heroes who stood at a time and place where something profound happened around them. This theme shines in Loving (2016), a film about a couple whose marriage was challenged in the USA Supreme Court in 1967. In one of the exquisite ironies of history, the couple’s surname was Loving and it was only love that kept them together while a slavery-era law tried to pull them apart.

In 1958, white construction worker Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and his black... More girlfriend Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) drove from Virginia to Washington so they could legally marry beyond the reach of their own State’s anti-mixed marriage laws. On return they were arrested like common criminals and given the option of a year in prison or 25 years of exile from Virginia. That was no choice for a couple expecting their first child. While in exile, Mildred is inspired by the black rights marches and writes to Attorney General Robert Kennedy who asks the American Civil Liberties Union to take up their case. Eleven years later, it reached the Supreme Court and history was made.
What makes this film outstanding is the way it blends a history lesson with the dramatization of the human effects of racist legislation. Neither the history nor the drama overwhelms the film. The period styling exudes authenticity and the acting performances are finely calibrated portraits of two humble people who became caught up in an era of profound social upheaval. While Richard is over-awed by the growing national attention to their case, Mildred understands her role in history and what she can do for all black people. Joel Edgerton is brilliant in playing surly mistrust of the legal system and is a steadfast protector of his wife. The beating heart of the film, however, is Ruth Negga’s performance. She consummately portrays the emotional highs and the lows, from the hope-filled blushing bride to the shattered prisoner of moral injustice, with an acting repertoire carried entirely by her huge expressive eyes.

This is a powerful film. It is not about heroes or villains, but ordinary people who played a small part in shaping a major turning point in history. To call it entertaining is not the right word. Rather it is an engaging, enlightening and worthwhile story about how a Loving couple changed history.Hide


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The Press Reviews

93% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Here is a film with its heart in the right place, an anatomical correctness coexisting with heartfelt, forthright conviction and an admirable belief in the virtue of simplicity and underplaying... Full Review

  • Nichols has delivered a timely drama that, unlike most films of its type, doesn’t want to clobber you with its importance. Full Review

  • Short on grandstanding and hindsight, long on tenderness and honour, and sticks carefully to the historical record. Full Review

  • This is a thoughtful film, but one that's slightly limited by its own careful restraint. Full Review

  • It features two of the best American performances of the past several years, from Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga... Full Review

  • The period detail here is good, but – given what we already know going in about American history in the Sixties – there’s an unavoidable lack of suspense. Full Review

  • Nichols and his team have made Loving as accurate as they could without making it feel like a copy of reality or compromising its considerable emotional impact. Full Review

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