Loving

The quietly-told tale of a landmark court case, anchored by two impressive lead performances (Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, who fought Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law for close to a decade between 1958 and 1967). It’s a film that takes plenty of time to explore the couple’s deep love for one another, as well as their individual reactions as their case escalates through the courts (Mildred’s quiet determination and savvy press handling contrasting slightly with Richard’s initial reticence to take on the authorities and his unwillingness to be in the spotlight). Good acting, good screenplay and some lovely cinematography. I’ve seen it dismissed as ‘Oscar bait’ – a lazy and derogatory term I am guilty of using myself from time to time – but I think it’s mature filmmaking by Jeff Nichols, and I think on balance I prefer it to last year’s more celebrated Midnight Special; they are wildly different films, and I did like the earlier movie, but it’s noticable that he isn’t chasing an audience with this latest work – just trying to tell a story that does justice to the people involved in real life. (****)