November 5, 2016 at 11:23 am #1201945355
I realized we don’t have a thread for this film yet, so I created one. What do you think of this movie’s chances at Best Picture? What about Edgerton and Negga for Actor/Actress? What about Nichols for Director and Original Screenplay? Any thoughts would be appreciated.November 13, 2016 at 2:12 pm #1201950116
In 1967, the landmark civil rights decision by the United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The case was brought by Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple sentenced to a year in prison by the Commonwealth of Virginia for marrying each other. As a result of the court’s ruling, the number of interracial marriages in the U.S. increased significantly over the years and decades to come and the decision was cited as precedent in future federal court decisions pertaining to the unconstitutionality of restrictions on same-sex marriage in the U.S.
Loving, the immensely moving new film written and directed by Jeff Nichols, follows Richard (the chameleon-like Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga) as they are harassed and arrested by local authorities for violating the Commonwealth’s anti-miscegenation laws. Richard and Mildred move to Washington D.C. to remain married and raise a family but yearn to someday make it back to their family and friends in Virginia. The couple at last sees some light at the end of the tunnel when the American Civil Liberties Union approaches the couple about filing the lawsuit against the Commonwealth that will ultimately lead to the 1967 decision.
The picture is so whole-heartedly convincing that it often looks and feels more like a documentary than a scripted, performed film. Edgerton and Negga do beautiful, lived-in work as Richard and Mildred and they’re surrounded by a fine supporting cast, including Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, Bill Camp and Sharon Blackwood. Nichols’ efforts are completely spot-on, with countless aggravating, inspiring, sweet and even occasionally very funny moments. Not a false note is struck. Kudos too to David Wingo’s fine original score.
Expect to see lots of Loving this coming awards season.
For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!November 14, 2016 at 12:24 am #1201950321
Really looking forward to this one. Seeing it next week Thursday.November 18, 2016 at 6:32 pm #1201953062
It’s not this true life story of the hard-won fight for interracial marriage in America is a bad movie, because it is not. It is, rather, a laboriously earnest, slowly paced, two hour film that feels like three. In fact, this would have worked better as short film because, when you get down to it, the story itself is really 45 minutes that has been stretched out needlessly to two hours. Joel Edgerton & Ruth Negga give fine performances here, but after a while, I didn’t feel any chemistry between them not did I feel like they were actually crazy about each other. Oh sure, they were portraying simple country folk fighting a fight that they didn’t even seem to want to fight, to be honest. Surely, the real-life couple had some spark, some fire, between them. Their relationship here is like the film itself, it has no pulse. It’s hard to dislike, not that I even wanted to, but if I had to watch Mr. Edgerton’s character lay brick one more time, I felt like I was going to go out of my mind.November 18, 2016 at 6:34 pm #1201953064
This was a nice film. Once again, like Carol and Arrival, a very fine movie. Nothing to be blown away by. Negga and Edgerton are great.November 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm #1201953299
Watched this incredibly beautiful film with my family today. And it absolutely touched my heart.
With LOVING, Jeff Nichols has constructed one of the most earnest and beautiful love stories of our time. He took history, and he told a story. He didn’t lecture. He didn’t force. And he didn’t set out to ‘Wow’. He let the story unfold. Nichols let the screenplay do what it was supposed to. Breathe. Built. Enthral. And by doing that, he achieved what cinema was meant to be, what it has always been. Educate, entertain, and touch.
With not nearly enough outrage and hate, considering the subject matter, many will say LOVING is too restrained. Too quiet. Leaving for missed opportunities.
LOVING is triumphantly simplistic. Undeniably heartwrenching. And quite simply, one of the most beautiful films of the year. It didn’t need to promote voilence. It didn’t need to make it about hate. And anger. Hopefully people get what the film was about. What the screenplay set out to achieve. LOVE. Not apartheit. Not a history lesson on slavery and segregation. And voilence. LOVE. Just LOVE.
Joel Edgerton is the MVP for me. I couldn’t take my eyes of him. What he did with this character was restraintfully stunning. He never fought back with voilence. He never once let his anger and frustration taint the fight for the cause. People probably wanted him to man-up. Hit a wall or punch somebody. He took the character and made him human.
Ruth Negga, as painstakingly restraint and almost dreamlike as she was, played the shy, quiet Mildred with confidence. Although i found her delivery static like and monotonous. I have a qualm with her not showing the emotion we were all yearning for at the end (after that all important phone call). I wanted her to show emotion. Not cry snot and tears (Hi Viola!). Not fall to the ground and wail. No. Just acknowledge and inhibit a sense of emotion that makes us feel. She turned the climax into an anti-climatic romp.
I have no idea how LOVING will do this awards season. Adam Stone’s cinematography was beautiful, David Wingo did a marvelous job with the score. But this is Jeff Nichols’ film through and through. And he should be proud. The screenplay shines.
An A from me.November 22, 2016 at 10:19 am #1201955057
The films quietness is both its strength and weakness.
You could see that there was ample opportunity to make it the sweeping, big Hollywood picture which other directors would have gone for by default. But the intrinsic nature of the film is what makes it rather compelling.
However, this internal drive means that the performances for me never truly shine. I love an understated performance, but Negga and Edgerton were just too quiet – especially given the toll that this must have had on their lives. When Negga is on the phone on the two big changing points of the film, it just feels like the audience are kept at an arms distance.
I still really enjoyed the film, and maybe a second viewing will shine like I hoped this would.
In terms of awards recognition, I don’t envisage this getting many major nominations. It will pick up maybe one or two noms across the board – and be recognised as one of the more under-rewarded films this Oscar season.November 22, 2016 at 10:41 pm #1201955509
Fantastic film! One of the better releases this year. Neither one of the performances will win but they are solid enough to receive respective nominations.November 26, 2016 at 6:19 am #1201956999
I just saw this film last night, and what a great offering it turned out to be. The story in itself, is both heartbreaking, disturbing, but a harsh cold reality nonetheless. Ruth & Joel turn in natural, realistic portrayals of the Loving’s. I can honestly say this was the first acting offering from Ruth i’d encountered , so it turned out to be an excellent first meeting with she and I.
My major “discrepancy” however, if you even want to classify it as such, is the movie is almost too subtle to a fault. Due to the subject matter, you anticipate there will be at least one big moment that puts you on the edge of your seat, but that never happens. Instead, you ride along for the entire a little over 2 hours, in a quiet piece of cinema, that will still grab at your heartstrings, and make you relieved you didn’t live in such a period of time. A period of time where someone can legally dictate whom you should or should NOT be married to based off of their racial make-up.
GRADE: ANovember 26, 2016 at 6:46 pm #1201957116
Another stellar film from Jeff Nichols. This should finally get the Academy’s attention that he should have received for “Take Shelter” (my top choice for best film of 2011). Ruth Negga was luminous here and squarely in my final five Lead Actress predictions. I’m anticipating Joel Edgerton to be snubbed fairly easily in Lead Actor. I expected a larger role for Michael Shannon than this. Check out the outstanding HBO documentary “The Loving Story” for more thorough details of their landmark saga and court case.December 5, 2016 at 9:46 pm #1201962744
So I have finally seen Loving. I’m kind of unable to describe how I felt about it because I do agree about the quietness and subtlety being a strength and a weakness. For me, though, I guess it was more a strength because I loved Loving. My exact thoughts on the film and performances have actually already been said by @avichristiaans like I completely agree with him a thousand percent.
I would personally nominate the film as well as both Edgerton and Negga for Oscars. As for what I think will actually happen, I don’t know. I’ve been keeping them out of my predictions but I’d really like to see them recognized.December 5, 2016 at 11:14 pm #1201962787
I LOVED Loving.
My Oscar recommendations:
Best Actor (Joel Edgerton)
Best Actress (Ruth Negga)
For your Goldderby Film Awards consideration: Isle of Dogs for every category, especially Music Score for Alexandre Desplat!December 22, 2016 at 10:28 am #1201973730
I rank Loving up there amongst the top three films of the year everyone seems to have converged on (La La Land, Manchester, Moonlight). For me, I actually liked it better than Manchester because the quiet grace, dignity and subtlety with which the subject matter was dealt with—not to mention Edgerton and Negga’s beautiful, almost completely wordless, expression-reliant performances—was so touching it made me feel like I was watching real life people unfold in front of my eyes. Something about the cinematic setting fell apart and I saw these people for who they were. And that is an AMAZING feat for a director to do.
I also LOVED Midnight Special this year and its performances were also beautiful (really wish it had gotten released in a different year so Shannon and Dunst were in the awards conversation), but as it is, I see why they pushed Loving instead of Midnight Special…even though Midnight Special really gives Arrival a run for its money.
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