Jeff Nichols wrote and directed Loving, the story of an interracial couple from Virginia in the late 1950s who decide to get married and wind up getting arrested.
You see, in Virginia at the time, it was illegal for people of different races to marry, so when Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga) drove up to Washington, D.C. to get married, they knew the dangers of returning to Virginia.
Still, the couple did return to the state and began living as husband and wife. Someone turned them in, and, before you knew it, the Lovings were in jail. After pleading guilty, the couple were sentenced to leave Virginia for 25 years.
However, Mildred was pregnant, and really wanted Richard’s mother (Sharon Blackwood) to deliver the baby, so they sneaked back into the state for the birth. This led to them being arrested again.
After this, they returned to D.C. to continue living their lives until a near tragedy caused Mildred to want to return to the country life of Virginia. Setting themselves up in a rural home, the Lovings planned on living the remainder of their lives in quiet isolation.
Mildren, though, had written a letter to Bobby Kennedy, who redirected the letter to the ACLU, who hooked them up with a lawyer (Nick Kroll) who saw this as an opportunity to take biracial marriages to the Supreme Court.
This is all quite amazing of a story, and is all the more amazing when you know that this is a true story.
I enjoyed this movie, mainly because of the amazing performances of its two lead stars. Joel Edgerton is unrecognizable, diving into the character of Richard, while Ruth Negga (who starred in this year’s hit show Preacher) is just astounding as Mildred. It is very possible that Negga will receive an Oscar nomination for the role. Both performances were very understated and subtle. They were a couple who just wanted two live their lives in peace where they wanted to live.
Michael Shannon had a small role here, but he brought his best once again. This has been a strong year for Shannon.
The film did drag at times, and it took several time jumps that did not feel right. The pacing issues aside, this film was pretty solid. There was never that jump up and hit you moment of emotion, but there was pretty consistent emotional taps throughout.
I would have liked to see more of the Supreme Court scene, as very little of the argument was presented.
It is another reminder of how sad it is that some humans can be so full of hate over things such as the color of a person’s skin. The fact there were once laws like this on the books in the USA is a shameful moment in our history.