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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

Loving Review

Director: Jeff Nichols.

Though not being overly impressed with last year's Midnight Special, I was looking forward to Jeff Nichols' cleverly titled film "Loving". A true story based on the interracial married couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, and their long drawn out battle against the State of Virginia which went all the way to the Supreme Court after their anti-miscegenation arrest in 1958.

The couple were arrested for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which outlawed interracial marriage in the state of Virginia, and having already suffered a terrible ordeal, they were sentenced to one year in prison that could be avoided if they choose the leave the Virginia, their home, friends and family, never to return for 25years.

Nichols was able to draw from Nancy Buirski's documentary, The Loving Story which contain very private footage of the Loving Family during the 1960's, using much of the dialogue. Unlike first TV movie that was made back in 1996, Mr. & Mrs Loving, a film Mildred commented as not being very true, apart from the number of their children. Mildred is no longer with us to offer comment on Nichols work, but being vastly different and using the research, I hope they would be proud. I doubt that Richard would care too much about it, he saves most, if not all his caring for his family.

It's story is superbly played out, focusing purely on the couple's relationship and devotion to one another, and the surrounding family as oppose to the court cases and the eventually change in the constitution so not to take anything away from these two incredible people and the turmoil they went through.

The casting of Ruth Negga as Mildred Loving was a superb choice, giving a certain delicate yet determined performance, allowing her character to have that vulnerability, a softness to an otherwise passionate and courageous woman. This performance has certainly placed her on the path to stardom.

Joel Edgerton the same, possibly giving his best performance since Warrior. Playing Richard, a fairly simple man who's caring and devoted to his wife and family. Egerton manages to express the emotion incredibly well with a minimal script, allowing his expressionism, behaviour and mannerisms to say so much more.

The entire production is superb, feeling like a live feed from that time. The vintage cars looking pristine, the homes and costume wardrobe all look accurate, recreating as close to the real footage as possible. Nichols' regular composer, David Wingo does a smoothing and brilliant score that helps creates a melancholic ambience among their struggles.

It still shocks me how this level segregation existed in our recent history. I say recent, because I'm parents were alive during this time in humanity and whilst I might consider myself incredibly lucky, we, as a human race, still have issues. But this film doesn't totally focus on all that, instead it focuses on love and hope, family and friends, the things that bring us together as a people.

Great performances, brilliant direction and excellent all round production. It's a grand story beautifully told. Not as inspiring as I was expecting but a good education nonetheless.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 8

Performance: 9

Direction: 8

Story: 9

Script: 8

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Probably not due to lack of rewatch-ability

72% 7/10

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