Even in times like ours with political unrest between opposing sides passionately defending the morals they hold near and dear to their heart, it’s still good to remind ourselves how far we come in our society. The new film Loving written and directed by Jeff Nichols is a perfect example of revisiting how society once felt about the people within it and the laws that impeded on the personal lives of others when it comes to something as sacred as marriage and the people we fall in love with.
Starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, Loving is the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, and interracial couple living in 1958 Virginia. The two poor kids from the other side of town may not be well-educated, but are progressive enough to look pass the color of one’s skin and realize the heart wants what the heart wants. The two get married much to the dismay of their families, friends and the State of Virginia who arrests the couple for doing so leading to a legal battle one couldn’t imagine in today’s world of acceptance.
Audiences love their “Based on a True Story” films, but for a movie like Loving to work you need to buy into the leads and the film succeeds with flying colors thanks to Edgerton and Negga who deliver Oscar Caliber performances. You see the love as the two cuddle on the couch together hidden from the law. You also get a glimpse at the despair in the duos eyes as they are thrown in jail for simply loving one another. Edgerton and Negga don’t play the Lovings as two crusaders looking to battle social injustice, but rather a shy, blue-collar couple with minimal education. They’re not looking for fame, just a peaceful life together, which makes the husband and wife feel so authentic in Loving.
Director Jeff Nichols doesn’t give the story the over the top Hollywood treatment changing the Lovings from a modest couple to vocal pioneers of social issues just for the sake of getting people’s attention in the theaters. Nichols should be commended for delivering an accurate depiction of the legal battles of Richard and Mildred, but it does cause the excitement level in Loving to be at a minimum. Loving is a quiet little film that survives on the performances of Edgerton and Negga. If it wasn’t for the pair’s strong acting and believable portrayals of husband and wife, Loving could have moved into the snore zone, which would have been a shame considering this film has such an important message about love and tolerance.
Overall, I give Loving 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell