Loving

 

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Although the title refers to the Loving family, and their bid to keep their marriage intact, it could also convey the emotional heart of the film.

 

 Loving

 

In the late 1950s in the US state of Virginia, the Lovings are put on trial for their interracial marriage. Richard Loving, a white construction worker, falls in love with Mildred Jeter, a black woman. When she becomes pregnant, to avoid going against their own state laws, they go to Washington to get married. When they return to Virginia they are arrested for breaking the local miscegenation laws. They only manage to avoid jail on the condition that they stay away for 25 years.

  

However, on returning to Virginia to have Mildred’s baby, they are once again arrested, but again the charges are dropped. Eventually, through Robert F. Kennedy they contact the American Civil Liberties Union in an effort to have the miscegenation laws overturned. By 1967 the case goes as far as the Supreme Court where their fate and that of other couples is finally decided.

 

Jeff Nichols both wrote and directed his film and in this true story has produced an extremely moving account of the hideous racist practices that were still prevalent in the US even up to the late 1960s. He has cast his actors with insight and achieves terrifically humbling performances from Joel Edgerton as Richard and Ruth Negga as Mildred. The ordinariness of these two peoples’ lives stands against the scandalous treatment they received from the authorities and their own community, when all they wanted was to bring up their family in peace.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, Will Dalton, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Jon Bass.

 

Dir Jeff Nichols, Pro Ged Doherty, Colin Firth, Nancy Buirski, Sarah Green, Marc Turtletaub and Peter SarafScreenplay Jeff Nichols, based on the book The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski, Ph Adam Stone, Pro Des Chad Keith, Ed Julie Monroe, Music David Wingo, Costumes Erin Benach.

 

Big Beach/Raindog Films-Universal Pictures.

123 mins. USA/UK. 2016. Rel: 3 February 2017. Cert. 12A.