User Reviews (112)

  • dham62919 October 2016
    10/10
    The power of love makes you love the Lovings
    I had the chance to see this film at the Austin Film Festival, followed by a QA with the writer/director Jeff Nichols. Having already been familiar with this story from the made for television movie in 1996 starring Timothy Hutton and Lela Rochon as Richard and Mildred Loving. Many would ask why now or why remake this film? Well many people are simply unaware of this couple's story and their groundbreaking supreme court case, because it's certainly not mentioned or taught in public schools. So was the case for the writer/director, as mentioned he was not aware of their story. He carefully followed the documentary and archived records about them, while imagining what their conversations and dialogue would have been like between them. I found the landscape of the cinematography beautiful and breathtaking. The acting chemistry between Ruth Negga and Joel Edgarton was so tender and sincere, as you witness their love and vulnerabilities on screen, it makes you love the Lovings. Ruth Negga really shines as the quiet young woman who becomes the matriarch and leader of her family after watching the march on Washington DC, she decides to write a letter to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy. You see the transformation of two introverted people during the civil rights era become activists for change in their own way that is very powerful in this film. Historically many of the biracial descendants of this country's slave owning founding fathers never benefited from the wealth and privilege of the white ancestors. That is part of what what made their case was so monumental, in that it reversed segregationist slave laws that considered biracial children mongrel bastards and prohibited the rights of marriage and inheritance of interracial couples.
  • Laurynwatters11 September 2016
    8/10
    The story of Richard and Mildred's incredible love as it conquers racism of the south in the 1950's
    Loving Review

    Jeff Nicolas newest film centres around the true story of Richard and Mildred Richard, the couple that fought the supreme court to legalize interracial marriage. On the surface this story seems interesting but over done but the way Jeff Nicolas tells this story makes it incredibly unique. Instead of focusing on the big story about Civil Rights Nicolas focuses on the very personal story of Richard and Mildred. By bringing the story down to a very personal scale Nicolas told the story in a far more impacting and effective way. This movie isn't about a revolution or a grand battle this is truly a movie about two people being in love. The movie doesn't try to rant or preach it just tries to tell a human story. Ruth Negga shone in this movie. She gave an honest, and emotional performance that really made Mildred seem like a person instead of just a character. Acting against her or more accurately with her is Joel Egerton. The character of Richard is fall less emotional so therefor Joel has less opportunities to show off, instead Joel utilized the quiet moments with his character to give a strong performance. Together the pair creates a believable, balanced relationship that shows us they're in love instead of just telling us. The accents at first are distracting and can be hard to understand but as the movie continues the audience becomes more immersed in the world and it feels natural. The major issue with the movie is its repetition. Due to the nature of the story the movie hits similar points multiple times, by condensing the events the movie could have been more efficient.The movies greatest strength is it's characters. The characters never feel like roles in a movie, instead they feel like actual people. The movie shows us small yet very personal moments between the characters that really make them come to life. From simple glances to quiet laughs you really believe that these are humans with thoughts, feelings and emotion. Tis makes the audience care much more about their story and therefore become more invested in the movie. The soundtrack much like the movie is quiet yet effective. It gives the film a very distinct optimism to it. The camera work is gorgeous. It's ability to focus on details then go to sweeping landscape shots is very impressive.
  • David Ferguson9 November 2016
    7/10
    Let them be
    Greetings again from the darkness. Imagine you are sound asleep in bed with your significant other. It's the middle of the night. Suddenly, the sheriff and his deputies crash through your bedroom door with pistols drawn and flashlights blinding you. You are both taken into custody. For most of us, this would be a terrible nightmare. For Mildred and Richard Loving, it was their reality in June of 1958. Their crime was not drug-dealing, child pornography, or treason. Their crime was marriage. Interracial marriage.

    Writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) proves again he has a distinct feel and sensitivity for the southern way. There is nothing showy about his style, and in fact, his storytelling is at its most effective in the small, intimate moments … he goes quiet where other filmmakers would go big. Rather than an overwrought political statement, Nichols keeps the focus on two people just trying to live their life together.

    Joel Edgerton plays Richard Loving, a bricklayer and man of few words. Ruth Negga plays Mildred, a quietly wise and observant woman. Both are outstanding in delivering understated and sincere performances (expect Oscar chatter for Ms. Negga). These are country folks caught up in Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, though as Richard says, "we aren't bothering anyone". The counterpoint comes from the local Sheriff (an intimidating Martin Csokas) who claims to be enforcing "God's Law".

    Nichols never strays far from the 2011 documentary The Loving Story from Nancy Buirski, who is a producer on this film. When the ACLU-assigned young (and green) lawyer Bernard Cohen (played with a dose of goofiness by Nick Kroll) gets involved, we see how the case hinges on public perception and changing social mores. Michael Shannon appears as the Life Magazine photographer who shot the iconic images of the couple at home … a spread that presented the Lovings not as an interracial couple, but rather as simply a normal married couple raising their kids.

    In 1967, the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, unanimously held Virginia's "Racial Integrity Act of 1924" as unconstitutional, putting an end to all miscegenation laws (interracial marriage was still illegal in 15 states at the time). In keeping with the film's direct approach, the Supreme Court case lacks any of the usual courtroom theatrics and is capped with a quietly received phone call to Mildred.

    Beautiful camera work from cinematographer Adam Stone complements the spot on setting, costumes and cars which capture the look and feel of the era (over a 10 year period). Nichols forsakes the crowd-rallying moments or even the police brutality of today's headlines, but that doesn't mean there is any shortage of paranoia or constant concern. We feel the strain through these genuine people as though we are there with them. The simplicity of Richard and Mildred belies the complexity of the issue, and is summed up through the words of Mildred, "He took care of me."
  • richard-196731 October 2016
    10/10
    Beautiful understated love, a powerful film
    This is the best film I've seen so far this year. Even though the story is widely known - complete with a recent first-rate documentary - this film delivers a tale of understated, quiet, but powerful love. In the process, the Lovings' eventual Supreme Court triumph seems almost incidental. Yet when Mrs. Loving looks out her front porch after hearing the final decision, you can almost touch her sense of pride in knowing that she, her husband, and her kids are a family in the eyes of the law for the first time.

    No Oliver Stone drum-banging here. By resisting the temptation to overdramatize the screenplay and allowing his two lead performers (both excellent) to have moments of quiet and simplicity, director Jeff Nichols has increased, not lessened, the story's power. For here was a husband and wife in love who just wanted to be left alone to live their lives. This bricklayer and this homemaker, one the provider, one the keeper of the home fires, are simple people but exceptionally genuine. Nothing in this movie is gussied up for the audience. And that makes this film all the more compelling.

    Assisted by lush cinematography and songs that are less familiar (and thus more interesting) than most films set in this period, and aided by being filmed largely in the town where it all happened, Loving has a genuineness and unadorned truth that is rare to find in films today. I loved it.
  • Movie Paradise25 November 2016
    5/10
    Important Story, But the Film Itself Falls Flat
    Unfortunately, I think the movie itself just doesn't work and isn't overly interesting. I can appreciate a slow movie, as long as it builds to something worthwhile. With Loving, it's slow and there's no overarching momentum. There's no fluidity. It just inches along through a collection of scenes. And these scenes end up being incredibly repetitive. Not only do we see the characters doing a lot of the same things they were doing before, but a lot of information is repeated over and over. Scenes happen that give us no new information, or repeat what we learned from an earlier scene. It's not just that some scenes needed to be cut, the entire film needed to be restructured. As it stands right now, there's no connective tissue making this a cohesive film. It's just scene after scene. And yes, there is an endgame, but it's glossed over and trivialized in the scheme of the entirety of the movie. There was just nothing captivating about this movie, nothing really reeling me in...
  • V Taylor21 December 2016
    6/10
    Missing the historical part
    This could have been a much more interesting film if: 1- we got more backstory on how they met and if they considered the dangers and difficulties of being an inter-racial couple 2- there were fewer long"meaningful" pauses. I started to get impatient as another five minutesof silent stares went by. 3 - the events were compressed so that muchmore time was given to both the state and federal court proceedings 4- much more of the actual Supreme Court case was shown. The Lovings didn't want to attend the court proceedings, but *I* did! I wanted to hear the arguments on both sides and comments of the judges. I wanted to get a glimpse into the thinking of the time. Surely all of this is available.

    Nice scenery, good score, and for those of us who remember the '60s, lots of shirtwaist dresses and plaid shirts. The two main characters are excellent actors, especially the female lead. But overall, it's very very slow going with almost no passionate arguments about the heart of the matter: why miscegenation laws were on the books at all. Can't really recommended it whole-heartedly.
  • Red_Identity21 November 2016
    Solid
    I'm very conflicted on how I feel about this. On one hand, I very much appreciated just how restrained and quiet this film turned out to be. It could have easily turned into a completely sentimental, over-saturated melodrama in the vein of The Help and it didn't. However, I also feel like it could have been more effective than it was. It also very much felt like Nichols was kind of on stand-by. I'm not sure if it was the mix of the period drama subject matter with someone like him as a director that made it feel a lot quieter than most films of this type, but I wanted to feel more than I did, I wanted more passion out of it. It's still a solid film and I'll see how it fares in my mind with time, but for now I say it was somewhat of a disappointment. I do think quieter films like this fare better with me the more I think about it, so I'm hopeful I'll like it a little more later on. Both Edgerton and Negga were really lovely, but I really don't see them getting nominated for an Oscar. I just think if a film is like this, the AMPAS will want something "bigger", both by the film and its actors and I just think in general everything here is way too subdued for them. It was great seeing Negga in a role so unlike her other one in Preacher and I can't wait to see more of her.
  • James Hitchcock16 March 2017
    4/10
    They tried so hard to make it worthy that they forgot to make it interesting
    Warning: Spoilers
    In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries most American states enacted anti-miscegenation laws prohibiting interracial marriage; only a handful, mostly in the north-east, never introduced any legislation of this sort. During the early and mid-twentieth century attitudes began to change, and the northern and western states began to repeal these laws, especially after California's anti-miscegenation statute was struck down as unconstitutional by that state's Supreme Court in 1948. There was, however, one part of the country where attitudes did not change. By 1967 there was a stark geographical divide. In every single one of the former slave states of the Deep South, except Maryland, interracial marriage was still illegal. In every other part of the country it was lawful.

    "Loving" tells the true story of Richard Mildred Loving, a couple from Caroline County, Virginia. Because Richard was white and Mildred black, they were forced to travel to Washington DC to get married, but in 1958 Virginia refused to recognise interracial marriages performed in other states; indeed, state law made it a criminal offence for Virginia residents to travel out of the state to enter into such a marriage. Richard and Mildred were arrested and charged with breaking this law; they were sentenced to a year in jail, but the judge agreed to suspend the sentence if they would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years. The Lovings moved to Washington, but did not like living in the city, and grew nostalgic for a return to the Virginia countryside. With the aid of the ACLU they petitioned the Virginia courts for a review of their case and, when this was denied, took the matter all the way to the US Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, which took place in 1967, finally invalidated America's surviving anti-miscegenation laws and is regarded as a major milestone in the civil rights struggle. This could have been an inspiring film about an inspiring story, so it is a pity that the film as actually made is so dull. Part of the reason, I think, is paradoxically that the film-makers were so keen to stick to the historical truth. Although the sixties were a period of racial tensions across America, particularly in the South, these tensions do not appear to have affected Caroline County to any great extent, and the Lovings appear to have experienced very little hostility or bitterness from their neighbours.

    Richard and Mildred are portrayed throughout as deeply in love with one another. As played by Joel Edgerton, Richard comes across as a stolid, good-natured man who rarely displays much emotion other than affection for his wife. Mildred, as played by Ruth Negga, at first seems rather passive, but later emerges as a stronger character; she, for example, seems more determined than her husband to pursue their legal action. Any differences between them, however, do not seem to have led to serious tensions in their marriage, and they are never shown arguing with one another.

    Now I am not arguing that the film-makers should have invented conflicts where none existed in reality for the sake of a good story; too many films supposedly based on historical fact have done that sort of thing for me to be happy with it. The film, however, seems altogether devoid of any sources of tension, and it certainly would have been possible for the film-makers to have found some. Given that the film tells the story of a court case, I am surprised that no attempt was made to turn it into a courtroom drama and that we see so little of the actual court proceedings. We never even hear the arguments which the State of Virginia put forward in order to justify their position, the counter-arguments put forward by the Lovings' lawyers or the reasons why the Supreme Court found in their favour.

    Not only does the film lack tension, it is also overlong and moves too slowly. Yes, it tells a worthy, uplifting feelgood story about the triumph of reason over prejudice. It's just a pity that they tried so hard to make it worthy that they forgot to make it interesting. 4/10
  • bob-the-movie-man5 April 2017
    8/10
    Hidden Vigour: Negga excels in another glimpse into America's racist past
    A few weeks ago when I reviewed "Hidden Figures" I pointed out the how absurd the racist behaviour at NASA in the 60's must have appeared to a young boy in the audience at my screening.  In many ways, "Loving" – a film that has had a lot less publicity and is a less obvious 'crowd-pleaser' – makes a useful companion piece to that film. 

    It tells the true story (yes, yet ANOTHER 'true story'!) of Richard and Mildred Loving who travelled from their home town of Central Point Virginia to Washington DC where – as a mixed race couple – they could legally get married. 

    However, on returning to their home state and living together as man and wife, they fell foul of the State's repulsive antimiscegenation statute which banned inter-racial marriages. The Lovings were found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail, which was suspended on the requirement that – unbelievable but true – the couple leave Virginia and not return (together) for 25 years. The film documents the fight of the couple – largely led by the feisty Mildred (Ruth Negga) – to fight the injustice, taking the case ultimately to the US Supreme Court for an historic ruling.

    This was an Oscar-nominated performance by Ruth Negga and, man, is it deserved. It's a performance of such quiet understated power that it is a joy to watch. But also strong is that of Joel Egerton ("Midnight Special", "The Great Gatsby") as Richard who here adopts a largely sulky and subservient manner that contrasts beautifully with Negga's perky optimism.

    I also loved the performance of Marton Csokas (Celeborn from "The Lord of the Rings"), chillingly unreasonable as the bigoted Sheriff Brooks and Michael Shannon ("Nocturnal Animals", "Midnight Special") as the Time photographer Grey Villet, capturing a classic picture that is shown (in standard 'true story' fashion) at the end of the film (and below).

    Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, whose "Midnight Special" last year made my top 10 of the year, this is a thoughtful and educational piece that should particularly appeal to older viewers keen to see a drama of historical importance beautifully told.

    (For the graphical version of this review please visit bob-the-movie- man.com. Thanks.)
  • restlesstymes1 November 2016
    8/10
    Loved it!
    'Loving' was outstanding. I know I review a lot of films that star a person people I love, but this film was one of the best ones I saw this year (Moonlight. GO SEE IT). I hesitated even writing that, thinking it couldn't be true, but it was. I was emotionally vested, riveted and compelled by it. Jeff Nichols' did a beautiful job directing this film in its fantastic simplicity, allowing Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton to deliver stellar performances as Mildred & Richard Loving. Joel Edgerton specifically stood out to me as I was a fan of his since King Arthur with Clive Owen (love Clive to death, but it was bad) and I absolutely love seeing him on film. He was remarkable as Richard Loving, communicating so much with his eyes and body language, I think it was a role that challenged him and I appreciate the impeccable job he did. Equally talented, Ruth Negga was also outstanding as Mildred Loving. She communicated so much just through her eyes! She is a very talented young woman who will have one outstanding career ahead of her. Marton Csokas and Michael Shannon make short but memorable appearances, honesty though both men are superbly talented so it's a real treat to have them pop up in smaller roles. Fun fact: Jeff Nichols directed Michael Shannon in another film I really liked, "Take Shelter".

    This film is about two people in love, an understated but very deep love which altered the very course of American history. 'Loving' begins in the late 1950s, right when racial tension was at its highest, just as the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum. Compounded by this and social pressures from within their community, the Lovings were forced to live in fear and even meet under cover of night. No one should have to live like this, ever. Nichols did a wonderful job of illustrating just how much this impacted their lives. How this couple, who only wanted to have a family and be together in peace, lived in a persistent state of paranoia fearing violence or worse just because they loved each other. It really is beyond all comprehension, that a black woman and a white male would be violating law simply being married. That tune sounds very familiar doesn't it, when likened to present day? All those lovely gay couples who can't hold hands just because they are scared that you are unable to mind your own damn business. Such a shame.

    'Loving' is also about hope. The beautiful glory of hope and love. Even despite everything, all the adversity and hardship there is always hope. That was one thing I really took away from the film. When asked how she is able to keep fighting, Mildred Loving, played by the wonderful Ruth Negga, says: Well, you loose the small battles to win the big war." This film is also about freedom, liberty and rights. This is the land of the free after all, but only free if you're not black, or gay, or anything not considered the status quo. The Lovings fought for years tooth and nail for the right to be able to love each other and raise a family the poignant part of this film to me is the ridiculous fact that they had to endure years of crap for something they should've had all along.

    Overall the film was just wonderful, I was moved and felt it in a very real way. The story is palpable from many perspectives which I think was a pretty challenging feat for Nichols accomplish, but he did so with efficacy. The narrative is clear: Love is love, live and let live. I say go see it, fall in love and carry it with you.
  • Michael_Elliott19 February 2017
    Great Performances Help Drama-Less Story
    Loving (2016)

    *** (out of 4)

    Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) marries his pregnant girlfriend Mildred (Ruth Negga) but soon afterwards they are both arrested. Richard, a white man, and Mildred, a black woman, are forced to plead guilty to avoid prison time but they also must leave the state of Virgina. Soon the ACLU hears their case and tries to get it to the Supreme Court.

    LOVING is another winner from writer-director Jeff Nichols who is certainly one of the most interesting filmmakers out there. It seems a lot of movies based around race were released in 2016 and many of them were based on true stories, which includes this one. If you're already familiar with the story then it's doubtful anything here will blow you away but at the same time if you're unaware of the court's decision and you're not familiar with these old laws then you're more than likely to really be caught up in the picture.

    For the most part this is an extremely well-made movie but I must say that there were a few problems that I had with it. For starters, the film is very low-key, which is an interesting way to tell the story and I thought the director perfectly captured the "country life" by filming the picture this way. The problem is that there's really no drama to be had throughout the film as nothing is really played up for the sake of building up any tension or drama. I'm not sure why Nichols went this direction but I really thought it gave the film an almost made-for-television feel. I'd also argue that the lack of any drama leading up to the Supreme Court showdown also took away any emotional impact.

    With that out of the way, the main reason to watch the film are for its two lead actors. Both Negga and Edgerton did a fantastic job with their roles and the best thing is certainly their chemistry together. I really loved how the two actors worked off one another and they really did make you feel as if you were watching a real couple struggle with this issue. I thought both of them had to do a lot of acting without using too many words, which is a difficult thing to do yet they both pulled it off. The supporting cast of characters were all extremely good as well.

    As I said, I thought the film lacked a lot of drama or emotion but there's still no doubt that the story itself was a very interesting one and the performances were certainly great.
  • elle_kittyca25 December 2016
    5/10
    slower and more dull than watching paint dry
    Warning: Spoilers
    I like to make my reviews brief and more or less to the point. My title of this review says most of what you need to know: it sounded like an important historic event worth learning about, but the overall telling over this story was dull, slow moving, and emotionally uninspiring. If you are inspired after watching this movie, its probably because you brought more empathy or imagination to the story than the script writer or the director. The good news about the story, is it s straightforward and not complicated, convoluted, or exaggerated. Also, I suppose you could say that the acting was not "terrible," for the most part. A notable exception to this was the husband, Mr. Loving, who was played with little warmth, reliability, or emotion. Even if the husband in real life were a man of little emotional depth, it would hard to imagine an actor playing him with so little dimension and warmth. There was also one of the lawyers that was not very able at acting, though his part was small. Nobody presented a tour-De-force performance. If you have a ton of patience for an uneventful, emotionally flat narrative, this movie gets you where you are going. If not, I recommend you go to wikipedia or someplace else to read about the events-that might be more interesting.
  • rannynm19 October 2016
    Stunningly portrayal of Racism and Love in the 20th Century
    Before I get started with my review, let me tell you something. Love is the key to everything. If any of you have seen this film, you know the main idea of the story already. But if you haven't, let me bring you up to speed. This is a sad yet romantic film. When I watched this movie, it changed my way or at least my perspective and thinking about love. After watching it, I thought about the life I live today and I realized that without the Lovings, the world would be a much different place.

    This movie is about the true story of an interracial couple who fell in love. In the beginning of the movie, we see Mr. Loving building a new home for himself and his wife. Little did they know that the police were going to soon find out about their marriage and shortly after, they would end up in jail. Back in 1967, in the state of Virginia, interracial marriages were illegal. But love has no color so Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) decide to fight for what they believed in. When the police find out, they try to stop them. As you watch this movie, it makes you think about love, not differences. Now get this - after watching this movie some of the actors from the film came on stage and told us more about the movie. I learned that when Peggy, the Loving's daughter first meet Joel Edgerton (who plays her dad in the film), she called him daddy and began to cry.

    The filming crew truly captured the reality of the times in so many ways. I recommend this film for ages 10 through 18 and older. Children 10 would not have learned about this subject yet, but when you're 10 you already start learning about the racism in their country in social studies. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it was better than my expectations. It has a good storyline and a good setting and, most importantly, the titles really catches the meaning of the film.

    Reviewed by Kamhai B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
  • brankovranjkovic9 February 2017
    5/10
    Loving a Civil Rights Drama
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a racial harmony drama, based on a true story about Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard (Joel Edgerton). Richard is a labourer who is pulled along as the reluctant protagonist. Set in the 1950's. They were married in Washington but arrested when returning home to Virginia.

    Interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia and the judge demanded that they left the state for 25 years, shocked by his ruling Mildred writes to R. Kennedy and this sparked off an important legal case which became a media story. Richard was a quiet, private man who just wanted to love his wife and remain isolated from the media, it's obvious that he really didn't want the story to go public. A magazine photo article, created more public interest in the story and the case escalated all the way to the Supreme Court and ultimately altered the constitution of the USA.

    There were some emotional scenes and sensitive performances, but I just found the film was lacking sufficient emotional drama, maybe some scenes from the Supreme Court hearing might have provided the climax I was missing?

    I wanted to like this but couldn't help comparing with 'United Kingdom' which followed a similar theme but was a far superior film. Though I'm a big fan of understated films, this two hour film felt more like a three hour epic.
  • mike david5 December 2016
    8/10
    One of the best films of the year, not what you'd expect
    If we're in Oscar season and talking about Oscars, while La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea have been garnering all the attention, it's surprising that a little known film Loving hasn't been as exposed with critical acclaim. It seems to be the type of film critics and awards voters would love. This is a near perfect movie based on the material and a very low budget.

    You may make the mistake I first did and think by the title "Loving" and about an interracial couple it is some sappy, romantic love story. It's actually the main character's last name (Richard Loving) and the movie is a really well told, acted, and directed docudrama about the origin and evolution of a historic court case that changed the laws of marriage. The story never becomes sappy and overly romantic. In fact, Joel Edgarton's performance combined with good directing by Nichols turns this into a gritty, working man's battle with the law.

    Based on true events, Loving is actually the story of what eventually went on to be the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage.

    This is one of those outstanding movies I'd score highly, but likely would never watch again or buy on DVD, but that's not to take away from how good of a movie it was.

    8/10.
  • Dina Reda29 December 2016
    3/10
    boring
    honestly, i didn't find the film interesting at all. for me, i couldn't define the success or struggle story of the Loving couple, all i found was a couple who exposed to oppression, felt injustice, released their anger deeply inward themselves, took silent actions by accepting expatriation for 10 years or more, lived calm and quiet not to be arrested. until the 2 lawyers took the lead of the case.

    i didn't have any good emotions, sensations towards the movie.it was too long and the important scenes can summarized in 2 or 3 minutes and the rest of the movie was meaningless filler.

    i don't know if the real story is boring as the film scenario or it really worth to be filmed but in a better way.
  • Red-12526 November 2016
    9/10
    Well-acted, compelling movie
    Loving (2016) was written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It's based on the true story of Mildred and Richard Loving, who were ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary situation.

    The Lovings were married in Washington, DC, although they lived in rural Virginia. No one would have noticed or cared, except for the fact that Richard was Caucasian and Mildred was Black. At the time, a mixed marriage was a felony in the state of Virginia. The plot is based on what happened next in their lives.

    Joel Edgerton portrays Richard. He's a bricklayer, and, apparently, a very good one. He always has work. Ruth Negga plays Mildred. Mildred is a homebody, who does her job very well, and turns out to be the more canny of the two.

    The movie wouldn't work if it weren't for the skills of the two lead actors. Edgerton doesn't say much, but he makes you believe that he truly loves his wife.

    Negga is a true star. She's very beautiful, but director Nichols portrays her as a quiet, dignified woman who happens to be beautiful. She is so good in this role that I predict that she'll be nominated for an Oscar.

    As other reviewers have pointed out, the movie is a little longer than it needs to be. However, the film keeps your attention throughout. We saw it in a theater, but it will work well on the small screen.
  • Sally Warner24 March 2017
    9/10
    Awesome
    Warning: Spoilers
    Made with feeling. Aussie the wonderful Joel Edgerton plays the stoic Richard Loving with brilliant unembroidered simplicity and Ruth Negga plays Mildred in a particularly powerful display of emotion without words. The dialogue is parred back to a minimum leaving the looks to tell you how much they feel for each other.

    Richard and Mildred are shown as the integrated couple in a weird world where they fit together hand in glove and the white world (and some of the rest of it) doesn't want them too. Shown as a solid family with values that mean they want to be with near their families in the rural countryside in peace.

    Kiwi (and I am biased) Marton Csokas plays another great baddie, the local cop who thinks that Richard just wasn't brought up right. His lecture is a great embodiment of the sentiment of the time.

    I left with a profound sense of amazement that these people were prepared to risk their lives for their love. A great statement of the things people had to fight for at the time.
  • sddavis6317 February 2017
    5/10
    A Surprisingly Low-Key But Socially Relevant Movie
    I will admit right off the top that almost from the beginning of the movie I was waiting. For something. Something more. Something that would grab me. Something that would scream at me "you have to keep watching this!" And that "something" never came. This is an interesting and important story. Compared to most movies that are based on true stories, this was even (as far as I can tell) quite accurate to the details of what really happened. Which may explain why such movies often take so many liberties with the facts - they have to spice things up a bit. I didn't have any trouble staying tuned to the story. It didn't put me to sleep and my attention wasn't wandering. It just seemed to lack what I might call oomph. There was no punch to it. But it did deal with an important piece of history.

    In the late 1950's in Virginia (and in many southern states and a few others) blacks and whites were not allowed to marry. The anti- miscegenation laws were very real and they were enforced. But people are people and sometimes people fall in love, and laws that try to prevent that from happening are of little effect. In 1958 Richard Loving (white) and Mildred Jeter (black) were in love, expecting a child and living in Virginia when they decided to travel to Washington, DC to get married. Upon their return to Virginia they were both arrested and put on trial and found guilty of violating the laws against inter-racial marriage. Their sentences were suspended on the condition that they would leave Virginia and not return together for 25 years. That began a years-long legal battle that eventually ended up in the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that marriage was a basic human right and that all bans on inter- racial marriage were unconstitutional.

    That's basically the story that was told. It was simple and straightforward and quite lacking in emotion. Joel Edgerton played Richard and Ruth Negga played Mildred. Edgerton was exceptionally even keel; Negga played her part with a bit more feeling, and to me was the more interesting of the two, and the one who was far more inclined to push back against the system that had declared them criminals simply for being in love and wanting to marry. Negga gained an Oscar nomination for the role, and she was very good in it. Interestingly, though, the only part of the movie that I found really tugged at me emotionally were the closing captions, which noted that a few years after their legal victory Richard was killed in a car accident, and then offered some words from Mildred - quoted from an interview shortly before her death in 2008 - which somehow struck a chord with me: "I miss him. He took care of me."

    Loving vs. Virginia was a case that played some role in the debate over same sex marriage in the United States. The fact that the Supreme Court had recognized marriage as a basic right was obviously significant to that discussion, and Mildred Loving herself spoke out in favour of same sex marriage. Although the connection was obvious, I was glad that no overt reference to the debate over same sex marriage was made, even in the closing captions. That would have taken the focus off the Lovings, which is clearly where it needed to be.

    In the end, this movie may lack spark and emotional intensity, but it's still a love story - and a story in which love does win out in the end. (5/10)
  • Quietb-130 November 2016
    6/10
    Love the Lovings not the pace.
    Warning: Spoilers
    It's the family name and the description of their relationship. This is the story of an interracial marriage in Virginia in the fifties. Not a good time or good state.

    Good performances but that "award moment" just wasn't there. The movie suffers from the written and directed syndrome as it is too long and moves at a snails pace. There are plenty of scenes of the leads staring in one direction or another. There are plenty of brick laying lack of action. Various bricks are set at about the same height. There are sewing scenes and real life things that do nothing for the pace of a movie. The old cars are cool, although a certain four door sixty seven Chevy seems to be everywhere.

    It's a story that should be told. It is part of history. Although it appears to have been shot on film, the cinematography is forgettable. There's a good music score. It is a small movie that doesn't need to be seen in a theater. There is the possibility of dozing off if you're too comfortable watching from the sofa.
  • Tuentin_Quarantino11 February 2017
    5/10
    Grossly overrated & very unimpressive
    Warning: Spoilers
    It's not really bad, if i can think of any words i would use to describe it's fine. Doesn't really do anything bad, doesn't really do anything great, it's just fine. The problem is the movie is just really boring, i checked my phone at certain points (don't worry, i wasn't in the theater) and it was just boring. Ruth Negga was good, but she wasn't like, amazing. I didn't like Noel Edgerton, i didn't like how he mumbled all of his lines, and that he had pretty much the same face throughout the entire film, i can admit his mumbling added to the realism, didn't make for an entertaining movie though. They did a pretty bad job at making me care for the characters and helping me understand their relationship. The movie literally opens with Ruth Negga telling her boyfriend she's pregnant, so they just throw us into this relationship without any semblance of thought or effort. It was decently informative, but it definitely wasn't entertaining, and i would never watch it again. The movie lacks an amount of human emotion, most characters don't even smile throughout the film and they just feel like robots, you don't understand why anyone does what they do, they just do it cause the script says so. The fact that this was nominated for best actress in a leading role and Arrival wasn't is freaking bull crap.
  • Edgar Allan Pooh5 December 2016
    8/10
    This flick is about that infamous "Basket of Deplorables . . . "
    Warning: Spoilers
    . . . who have deviously plotted during the 50 years following the events depicted in LOVING to gerrymander America until Today their despicable Fascist Racist Minority is about to seize control of every department in the U.S. Government. Because an anti-homeowners advocate has been appointed U.S. Commerce Secretary, an anti-public schools proponent Education Secretary, an anti-Medicare\Medicade future Mass Murderer Health Secretary, a Nuke-Everybody General War Secretary, and an Alt-Right Ku Kluxer as Attorney General, any Black who survives the next four years will be enduring a full nation-wide return to Jim Crow, at best, by 2021. All the crackers you boo and hiss during LOVING are now in charge of America, thanks to an "election" Rigged by Russia. Racists are coming out of their Extreme-Right closets even while Barack is still warm, and it is no longer possible to quantify the past month's exponential rise in U.S. Hate Crimes in mathematical terms Normal People understand. The only Silver Lining here is that Richard and Mildred Loving did NOT live to see these Dark Days for America, and many of us will miss much of the Coming Trauma as the Greedy Billionaires bull-doze us into Early Graves.
  • apioneer15 November 2016
    5/10
    'Loving' has some lovely actors ...Questions to Jeff Nichols??
    Warning: Spoilers
    Saw 'Loving', last night and was blown away by Joel Edgerton's acting. This guy has some real acting chops and is a promising actor. Keep up the good work.

    The cinematography of this film was beautiful and the music was touching. But I kept thinking that after putting couple of years of work and bringing all these beautiful actors to make this film , why did the director had no warm feelings for his own work? - Why did Jeff Nichols did not explain to the audience that what was the reason that Richard fell in love with this particular Black girl. Why a conservative, silent, cold white man from Virginia would fall in love with a black girl. Why? People just don't fall in love with people, there is a reason if the director ever fell in love, he would know.

    -Why Mildred's parents and brothers did not have any concerns about this relationship when they knew that the State of Virginia, they live in does not accept interracial marriages. There was not a single scene in the film where the father argued or fought with her daughter for what she was doing. Actually he jumps into the car and goes along with Richard and Mildred to get them married. I did not see director providing a clear reason. I think anybody who would watch the film, will think about it and I am surprised the director did not think about this.

    • Richard keeps going back to Virginia over and over. I mean anybody in this kind of situation would never put their family in this kind of danger of getting caught? Jeff does not give any reasons.


    -Call from a Supreme Court of USA is the most important thing in any human being's life but the director treats it like it was not really important to this family. I mean Wow! It seems like the director did not really care about these black people's lives and treat all their emotions and successes as if nothing really was important. I can understand it might just be creating a 'style' it does not really work with such sensitive topics.

    I want to congratulate Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga and the woman who played mother to Ruth. Thank you for doing such a great job. Michael Shannon had two scenes in the film and he had two different personalities in those scenes. That's what happens when actors become over confident.
  • trublu2154 November 2016
    6/10
    Incredible performances all around but very bland filmmaking.
    Loving is the type of film you sit down to watch and after about 25 minutes, you know it will most certainly be an Oscar nominee. That isn't because it is anything particularly riveting or ground breaking, it just feels like the typical Oscar bait film. Much like 2014's The Imitation Game, this is a film that hits every check mark down an Oscar ballot. It has incredible central performances from Ruth Nega and Joel Edgerton, a timely story and a cast of who's who type thespians along with a rising director in Jeff Nichols. While all these reasons certainly sound like more than enough to see Loving, the film is lacking a key component...heart. The film trucks through it's fifteen-minutes-too-long runtime, filling it with well acted scenes that rarely ever hit the marks it should.

    Telling the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple in Virginia, and their fight against laws prohibiting them from being together. First off, the true life events have laid more than enough ground work for Nichols to work with yet he turns, what would have been a great yet heartbreaking love story, into a melodramatic courtroom drama that loses all the elements of a truly well done story. There is truth in the performances, in the filmmaking, in the writing but when on the screen, it feels nothing short of a glorification. There is glory in triumphing over asinine laws that the government has bestowed upon the American people especially when it is done in film. However, Loving uses it's power against itself. It becomes sappy and hits your typical biopic beats by the end of the film.

    Like I said, Loving features amazing performances from the cast, especially from Edgerton and Nega but the film conforms to the very beats of a typical Hollywood biopic instead of doing its own thing. Jeff Nichols is already known for some fantastic work such as Mud and Midnight Special but this film, while it will be his most successful, is his weakest work to date.
  • vincentlynch-moonoi2 July 2017
    5/10
    A tremendous disappointment
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was really looking forward to this film. Rarely have I been as disappointed. I couldn't stop thinking of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence". I know that sounds weird, but do you remember the most memorable line of dialogue in that film?: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Well, although I have no idea what that facts were about the personalities of Mr. & Mrs. Loving, Mr. Loving is portrayed here as having a personality comparable to a brick. Even if the screenwriters and director had to fudge the truth a bit, it would have been preferable, and the flatness of Joel Edgerton's performance (whether historically accurate or not) is probably the key reason that this film was a flop at the box office. I actually began wondering if Mr. Loving was mildly mentally retarded. Or was it just a BORING performance by Edgerton? I don't know which it was, but in my view, it ruined the film. Why would anyone love this man? As far as Edgerton, at this point I have no desire to see him in another film.

    A second major flaw here was that we see none of the actual Supreme Court testimony. That would have been very interesting. One of the most important Supreme Court cases in history...and the Court process itself was almost ignored.

    On the other hand, Ruth Negga was very good as Mrs. Loving, and I enjoyed seeing up-and-coming actor Alano Miller as one of Mr. Loving's Black friends.

    I'm glad to know more about the case that I have heard so much about over the years, but really, this is a disappointing film.
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