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Friday, November 18, 2016

Movie Review: LOVING Uplifting, Beautiful, & Heartfelt. #ThisIsLoving

LOVING is an uplifting, important film that will be cherished for generations. Both Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga disappear in their characters, among the most deeply-affecting performances this year. And writer/director Jeff Nichols once again proves his storytelling prowess.

Rama is back again.

Based on the true story of interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving who were punished by law and ultimately banished from their hometown for getting married. They spent the next nine years fighting for their right to raise their family there. It’s a case that went all the way to the supreme court and resulted in the landmark civil rights decision invalidating any laws that prohibit interracial marriage.

What I’ve always admired about writer/director Jeff Nichols is that he’s more interested in the human factor. Even when his film could be about mystery adventure like “Midnight Special,” the focus remains centered around how two or three characters affect each other. The same goes with LOVING. The film could’ve easily detoured on to the arguments presented at the Supreme court, it could’ve shown more bigotry and discrimination that were unfortunately indeed prevalent in that area at that time, it could’ve chosen to be overdramatic as well. But that’s not the case with Jeff Nichols. He doesn’t go for big epic set pieces, it’s all about the relationships for him. From beginning to end, LOVING is about Richard and Mildred, and yes, although this is about interracial marriage, even more so than that, this film actually speaks about marriage in general. How a husband treats his wife and vice versa, even in times of disagreements. From start to end, the film feels so up close and personal.

If you’ve seen photos of Richard and Mildred Loving and then you see Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga’s portrayal, they’re like carbon copies, it’s the most perfect casting, in my opinion, since Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film, “Lincoln.” But not only the appearance. Richard has that shyness to him, he just wants his family to be left alone, and he takes care of Mildred, he’s the great provider. And so Edgerton understands that he has to capture those nuances. The same with Negga. Mildred feels devastated by the idea that she’s not allowed to raise her children at her hometown, and that frustration is evident all over Negga. These are two actors who aren’t even Americans, but manage to carry this piece of American history that essentially has become a monumental inspiration to couples ever since. Complimented by composer David Wingo’s calmed yet genuine music and Adam Stone’s exquisite cinematography, LOVING for certain will leave a lasting mark.

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