Richard Loving loved his wife Mildred and she loved him but never once in the movie “Loving” do they say “I love you,” in words. The way they look at each other, touch each other, lean on each other, interact with each other shows those three words more than saying it would. At one point Richard tells a lawyer that he should tell the Supreme Court that he loves her and in a scene that will have you holding your breath not by what is said but how Mildred looks at Richard after she hears the decision tells you more than heavy love making or sex scenes could.

Based on a true story the only thing ‘Hollywood’ about “Loving” is that Loving is the real name of the White man and Black woman who drive to Washington D. C. to get married as at that time it was illegal to marry a person of a different race to wed in Virginia. After returning to Virginia their bedroom is invaded by the Sherriff and they are arrested and jailed this being the only jarring scene in this movie.

Jeff Nichols, director and writer of the screenplay, tells the story in a very low key of the couple’s right to marry, live together, and raise their children together. After writing a letter to Robert Kennedy the case is taken by the ACLU to the Supreme Court.  There are no dramatic court scenes with just a brief voiceover telling the final decision declaring marriage an inherent right. 

The sheriff could have been shown in a very sinister light but he is the law of the State until it is changed. While the intermingling of Whites and Blacks is mostly underplayed, with the positive and negative aspects shown as accepted way of life neither side is ‘right’. One scene, in a local bar, could have been explosive but stops short just as showing Black and White men’s enjoying a day of drag racing is just that, friends enjoying their day off.

The only ‘Hollywood’ aspect of the film is that the name of the couple are Loving but that was the case and couldn’t be improved upon just as the performances of Joel Edgerton as Richard and Ruth Negga as Mildred couldn’t have been Improved upon.  Richard is a silent man who just wants to provide for the wife and kids he loves, doesn’t even want to get involved with the Supreme Court case or the attention it draws to him. He wants to do his job being a bricklayer and tinker with the cars for the drag races. Mildred wants to care for her husband, children, make a comfortable home for them without interference from anyone. Both actors express so much with saying so little.

With Marton Scokas as the Sheriff, Nick Kroll and Jon Bass as the ACLU lawyers plus an ensemble of excellent actors, playing family members and friends, director Jeff Nichols has no need for histrionics to bring attention to them.

As the screenwriter, Nichols steers clear of clichés and concentrates on the love aspect of the couple instead of theatrics of the lawyers. What he gives us is a moving story, a story that will bring a tear or two to your eyes while bringing an important law case to many that would change lives and lead to ‘declaring marriage an inherent right’ and making Gay marriage possible.

“Loving” is definitely one of the best movies I have seen this year.


Movie trailer


Posted November 16, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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