Directed by Jeff Nichols
The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.
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★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
Jeff Nichols' most maturely directed film yet, though Take Shelter is still my favorite film of his. Definitely gonna be an Oscar contender: it'll probably get a Best Picture nomination, and I'd put money on Ruth Negga at the very least getting a Best Actress nom; well deserved too. It's not "Oscar bait," just a film with great intentions, impressively understated performances and subtle poignancy -- no oversentimentality or grand, expository dialogue.
★★★★ review by Arielrocks5 on Letterboxd
The thing I take away from the two latest from Jeff Nichols (so far, the only two I've seen from him) is the use of silence. Most of the film takes on a quite, slow moving, and rather calm sensibility towards each of its subjects and never breaks away from it (aside from one sequence towards the half way point).
It's something I can see most being bored by (trust me, during one of my theater checks a few days ago, I saw a guy straight up sleeping during this movie) but it's something I rather admire.
Time and time again, someone will take this sorta subject matter and over exaggerate it to the degree where it's hard to take it seriously anymore. But Nichols knows that and does the exact opposite.
He shows the right amount of pain these two went through for an entire decade before someone brought justice to them, but knows that's not what we should be focusing on. It's called "Loving" not just because that's what their last names were, but because that's what they do; they love each other.
They fought against an entire state and country to stay together and prove that there was nothing wrong with the emotions they felt and shared with each other and those around who were willing to support them.
Another thing I really like it the way Nichols uses tone. Well meaning, mature, and above anything else, subtle. Most of the key features about certain characters (something I noticed as well in "Midnight Special") is told through their actions rather than through their words.
Moments of dialogue don't go on for longer than five or so minutes tops (it could be longer, I can't entire be sure) because by the time they're done explaining, the mood has been set and we, the viewers, take away whatever they may be feeling through the images in front of us.
It looks lovely too. Nichols really has an eye for crafting visuals from normal locations and making them look all the more real, like at any point we can simply walk into the room our characters are standing in at the moment. Music is nice too. Sentimental, sure, but never overly so.
The two leads in Negga and Edgerton both show off a true sense of care for each without ever having to dive into long winded tangents about it. Edgerton doesn't usually say a whole lot (more the strong and silent type), but the mere look on his face shows an earnest person who may not always be able to speak, but his actions may always do that for him.
Sometimes his line delivery is a bit off (mostly in the first act) and some of the editing between certain lines comes off as a bit too awkward, but that's a issue that I'm willing to overlook.
It doesn't pack AS much of a punch as I was hoping it would have, and I guess I CAN see how some may call this boring, bland, or whatever new word the people these days are using to describe movies that didn't hold their interest, but for what it's worth, "Loving" is a well made, well meaning, and beautiful dive into one of histories most important love stories.
★★★★½ review by Katie on Letterboxd
"Tell the judge I love my wife."
is michael shannon a real person? can he be my dad? can i fall in love? please?
★★★★½ review by alie on Letterboxd
i wonder how ruth negga is going to celebrate her oscar win
★★★★ review by Josh Larsen on Letterboxd
More than anything else, this is a collection of little moments of life-building, which cinematographer Adam Stone gives a crumpled glow, as if old family snapshots have been polished and brought to life. The camera lingers on the snapping of green beans, the replacing of a car part, the ironing of shirts while holding a crying child. These are the tiny blocks of which a family life is constructed and they are the only things the Lovings are asking to be given.
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