Loving – review

Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving a couple who were married in 1958, their marriage was illegal in their home state of Virginia because Richard was white and Mildred was black. They faced prison and banishment from the state because of their relationship.

Loving is a film by Jeff Nichols, whose work on Take Shelter and Mud made some pretty engrossing and interesting movies, I wasn’t so keen on Midnight Special however. And Loving also falls a little bit short too.

While the whole film has a quiet, controlled undercurrent of calmness to it this feels like an intimate story that happens to have constitutional altering impact. But there is also an element of boredom that you can’t get rid of too. The acting from the two leads Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga is quiet, they don’t have many lines between them, relying on body language to convey emotions. Michael Shannon even pops up in a role where he isn’t a creepy weirdo but a good person.

A lot of the quiet and simpleness of the acting is a reflection of the story itself, there really shouldn’t be a problem with them being married, it is such a non issue. They are just too people who want to live their lives, raise their family and go to work, they don’t have any great quest to change the country but if that is what it takes then so be it.

Loving doesn’t hold your attention that well and could probably be told quiet well in about 15 minutes. Yes it is an important story to tell, but why not watch the documentary The Loving Story from 2011 that inspired the movie instead?

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