In 1960’s rural Virginia, Richard Loving is in love with Mildred Jeter. Within their insular community, their relationship goes unnoticed until they decided to marry. Their crime? Richard is white, Mildred is coloured and ‘Loving’ is the story of their fight against a legal prejudice that would separate them.
’Loving’ is a simple tale with a clear emphasis of its two principal characters…
As a film ‘Loving’ is a simple tale with a clear emphasis of its two principal characters. Although caught within the same historic maelstrom as the civil rights movement, this is a movie that stays resolutely with its two leads and their quiet legal battle for acceptance.
Taciturn and occasionally monosyllabic, Joel Edgerton’s performance as Richard attempts to convey the straight-forward demeanour of a simple labourer caught in the cross-hairs of the constitution. However it is Ruth Negga’s softly-spoken Mildred who excels, giving voice to both Richard and the film itself. Her Mildred together with a pleasingly-against-type casting of Michael Shannon, gives context to the unseen judicial storm clouds that threaten to tear the Lovings asunder.
Unlike other tales from the south (like ‘Missippi Burning’) ‘Loving’ isn’t an inflammatory drama but instead is as low-key as the couple it documents. With a point to make against hugely-skewed odds, ‘Loving’ is a historical and legal drama that serves its characters with a justice that mirrors their lives.