Just a quick review of Loving, so I can get back to binge watching something. This movie really exceeded my expectations. Probably the factor that influenced me the most was the acting. Ruth Negga gave a wonderful performance. She exemplified the “less is more” dictum by her understated yet powerful portrayal of Mildred Loving. The simplicity of her role didn’t mask the depth and intelligence of Mrs. Loving, and as the story develops, we see a quiet strength that leaves its imprint in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Joel Edgerton plays her husband, Richard Loving, and he digs deep to embody his character. (Joel was really good in Loving, but I think I’ll always love him most as Gordo in The Gift). Richard belongs to the working class, and he loves his wife with a purity that doesn’t understand the bigotry and ignorance that gets this couple arrested and ousted from their home state.
Most viewers know the story, but that doesn’t detract from the film’s worth or the satisfaction in watching the depiction. The Lovings are young and in love, marry in D.C. in 1958 where Richard says there will be less “red tape”, and anticipate raising a family back home in Virginia where they have family and where they’ve always lived. But the court finds them guilty of miscegenation (the inter-breeding of people of different races), and they experience much suffering for committing the crime of inter-racial marriage. The case thankfully makes it to the Supreme Court in 1967, and the justices have enough courage to take down some antiquated laws.
I would have appreciated a little more about their court case, but there’s an HBO documentary that explores this in more detail (I think—I haven’t seen it yet).
More than ever, Loving is a film of great importance, reminding us of how torn our social fabric still is, how divisive the political landscape, and how there is yet hope for change. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 2/7/17