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Grade: A- Rating: PG-13, 123 minutes In a Nutshell: Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, this historical drama sensitively tells the true story about the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. This movie received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is based in part on the documentary The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski. Loving is the last name of the married couple, yet also a simple statement about what’s important in life. Uplifting theme: Love doesn’t come in colors. “Marriage is a fundamental right.” – Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll) Things I liked: Joel Edgerton does a great job. His character becomes an unexpected civil rights activist. Wow, those blue eyes. Ruth Negga has incredibly expressive eyes. I first noticed her in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - Season 2 [DVD] and think she is so beautiful. I love the imagery and symbolism of Richard Loving building foundations as a hard-working brick layer. The foundation of a loving family is built on a strong marriage. The foundation of a successful country is its good, hard-working citizens and the protection of civil liberties. This film’s treatment of the Loving’s story is very respectful and understated, making it all the more powerful. Michael Shannon plays a very small role as Grey Villet, but is a welcomed addition and a softer character than we’re used to seeing him play. Director Jeff Nichols adores Michael Shannon, as this is their 5th film together. You get to see the famous picture of Richard and Mildred Loving at the end of the movie. Marton Csokas does a great job playing a man you don't like, the racist Sheriff Brooks. Things I didn’t like: There isn’t any humor to offset the heavy sadness and drama of the serious social issues. It’s extremely slow moving. Interesting lines: “Now you know what’s it like.” – Virgil (Will Dalton) “Is there anything you’d like me to say to them? And by 'them' I mean the Supreme Court justices of the United States?” –Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll) “Yeah. You can tell the judge…tell the judge I love my wife.” – Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) Tips for parents: You’ll hear the “N” word. Discussion of premarital sex. If you’re 45 years or younger, it’s hard to imagine a time when interracial couples were not allowed to marry. You can have a good discussion with your children about racism and civil liberties. America has come a long way since the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s, although we still have a long way to go.December 23rd, 2016 · Details
What Works? There's an honesty and a sweetness to this picture that's really appealing. The Lovings are plain, ordinary people. Edgerton said "They just wanted to love each other and have the right to love each other. And so the movie's a love story first." He’s right. The court case is almost an afterthought; the strength of the story is the rock-solid love the Lovings have for each other. Edgerton's Richard is a man of few words, which causes the ones he does say to pack a wallop. Even when his face is blank he's interesting to watch; it's obvious these still waters run deep. In contrast, Mildred is vivacious and sweet with a smile that lights up the room and an iron resolve that keeps her going no matter what. Their attorneys aren't exactly legal hot-shots, but what they lack in razzle-dazzle they make up in conviction, shepherding the couple all the way to the Supreme Court and a landmark decision. What Doesn't? I kept waiting for things to get really ugly—more racism, violence, cringe-worthy moments. But although violence threatened it never broke out. A few people toss out epithets and show hate-filled attitudes, but for the most part things stay remarkably calm. I half expected the only white guy in the Lovings' D.C. neighborhood to get a little grief, but no. I expected Richard to slug a drinking buddy who was mouthing off, but no. It was almost too palatable.Click here to read the full review
We don’t have to see how they met. We don’t have to see how he worked up the courage to ask her out or their first misunderstanding, or watch her try on different outfits before their big date. “Loving,” written and directed by Jeff Nichols (“Midnight Special,” “Mud”) brings us into the story of Richard and Mildred Loving as they have a very short, very simple, but very meaningful conversation. She pauses, and we can see on her face that she does not know how he will react and is perhaps afraid to hope. Finally, she says it. “I’m pregnant.”Click here to read the full review