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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Loving (2016)

In 1958 Virginia, a white man (Joel Edgerton) and a black woman (Ruth Negga)  are arrested and imprisoned for breaking Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws by marrying. They are quiet unsophisticated country folk who just want to live their life in peace and raise a family in a home of their own. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER) and based on the landmark 1967 Loving vs. Virginia case which went all the way to the Supreme Court and a historic ruling. This film is different from anything Nichols has ever done and something I suspect even the Nichols haters (and I've met a few) would like. At its core, this is a love story. Its power lies in its simplicity and Nichols doesn't impede the telling with heavy handed lecturing. This isn't a mediocrity like GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER? with Sidney Poitier as a famous doctor any white girl would be lucky to get and set among posh San Franciscans. These are real people struggling to survive against almost insurmountable odds. But always at its center, the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving. The performances by Edgerton and Negga are impeccable though perhaps it's ironic that something so American are played by Australian (Edgerton) and Irish (Negga) actors. A subtle telling of a still pertinent subject on marriage rights. With Michael Shannon, Marton Csokas and Nick Kroll.  

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