Loving – ★ ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
In 1950s Virginia mixed race marriages were illegal. To get around this, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving ( Ruth Negga) drove to Washington D.C. to get married, and then came back home to their small Virginia town. The thing about small towns is that news travels fast, and word of the Loving’s marriage reaches the police who come and arrest them. They plead down a sentence from jail time to exile, meaning that they must leave the state for twenty-five years, or divorce. Rather than going to jail they leave the state, but Mildred writes a letter to Robert Kennedy who recommends their case to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) who appoints them a lawyer (Nick Kroll) who takes up their cause and eventually gets their case heard before the Supreme Court. Their basic defence was that they were in love.
This was a very good film, and very interesting. The performances were very good (Ruth Negga was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar), and I really loved the look of the film. It looked incredibly authentically 50s and 60s. Loving was beautiful in it’s silence. There were moments where nothing happens, just Richard and Mildred Loving quietly living their lives. The film really focuses on the relationship, not the courtroom which I really appreciated. While this was a historical film, based on true events, it wasn’t a history lesson. The southern US at the time was a tense place, but in this film the menace was slow burning and it didn’t focus on the violence as you might expect, just two people who were involved at the heart of the matters.
Bottom Line: Even though this sounds kind of silly, and is not what the film is about at all, I really liked the cars in Loving. The film took place over ten or so years, and I found it really cool to see the cars change with the time periods, from the early fifties to the mid sixties, from big chrome and finned monsters to sleek muscle cars. I love it when filmmakers include these little details.