Movies: Loving

 

Loving is the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed race couple who lived in rural Virginia in 1958. Richard and Mildred enjoyed a slow life revolving around car mechanical and local jalopy races in a rural Virginia town where there seemed to be quite a lot of interaction between blacks and whites. Mildred becomes pregnant and because it was illegal for the couple to marry in Virginia, they drove to Washington D.C for their license. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and as part of a plea deal, agreed not to come back to Virginia in each other’s company for 25 years. They moved to D.C. for a few years but Mildred hated the city and did not want to raise her three children there. They returned illegally to Virginia and hid out in the country while working with an ACLU attorney who ultimately took their case to the Supreme Court.

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are both wonderful as the Lovings. The film is quiet and subdued and does not focus on the actual Supreme Court case but rather the story of a couple just trying to live together as a family in Virginia. There isn’t a lot of passion in the relationship, which dragged the film down in my opinion. The cinematography, set design and acting are all excellent but I wanted a deeper look into their story. In particular, I would have preferred that there was a little more detail around the legal case, which culminated in the 1967 landmark case prohibiting states from outlawing interracial marriage.   To think these discriminatory laws were in existence during my lifetime is sobering and the story of the Lovings is an important one to bring to the screen.  I recommend the movie.

Advertisements