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Title :Loving (2016)
Release : 4 November 2016 (USA)
Genre :Biography, Drama, Romance
Country:UK | USA
Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars : Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton
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Loving (2016) review
While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America, it’s also a remarkably involving true story about a couple tenaciously holding on to each other in the middle of a storm of oppression. By taking such a personal approach, writer-director Jeff Nichols grounds the movie in authenticity, eliciting fine performances from the entire cast, with especially notable turns from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton.
It’s 1958, and cross-racial marriage is illegal in Virginia. So Richard Loving (Edgerton) takes his pregnant black girlfriend Mildred (Negga) across the state line to Washington D.C. to get married. When they return to the family farm, they’re immediately arrested and exiled to Washington, where they start a family. But Mildred longs to raise their three children back in their rural hometown, with their extended families around them. When Richard consults a civil-liberties lawyer (Nick Kroll), he finds that there may be some legal hope for them if they are willing to take on the system. This requires the help of a constitutional expert (Jon Bass) and the tenacity to stand up to a century of ingrained prejudice.
The film is written and directed with a sharp attention to detail, which means including some facts that are rather messy. This sometimes leaves scenes feeling unfinished, but the point is that real life isn’t as tidy as it is in the movies. This also means that the film never tries to build a melodramatic sense of momentum, remaining intimate and somewhat reticent, echoing Richard and Mildred’s personalities. Many of the biggest scenes take place off camera, while we are instead watching these steely, softspoken people who changed American law by quietly remaining true to their love for each other. Both Negga and Edgerton deliver subtle, wrenching performances as everyday people who express their strong views mainly in telling glances and touches that say more than words ever could.
This is a movie about unassuming heroes whose dignity shook a bigoted system to the core. The surrounding roles are much more colourful, and are finely performed by the terrific supporting cast to add a spark of energy to every scene. But it’s Richard and Mildred’s steadfast principles, held up by their friends and families, that make this such a vivid, urgent movie. It might never reach the big emotional climax we’re hoping for, but it’s an important account of a pivotal historical moment no one should forget. And it reminds us that life doesn’t need to be thrilling for it to be momentous.