Compelling performances and stunning direction brings ‘Loving’ to life


Artwork courtesy of Focus Features.

Drama films centered around real-life events have always been very popular, especially those centered around racism, and one of the most powerful true stories is finally getting told on the big screen in “Loving.”

The film is based on the real-life interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested and exiled to Washington, D.C. following their marriage, which was illegal in their home state of Virginia at the time (1958).

After nearly ten years of appeals and help from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Supreme Court found laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, and the couple were finally able to return to their home state.

The true story driving this film is definitely moving and heartbreaking, but what makes it work on screen is the stellar performances and writing/directing from Jeff Nichols.

Well known for his work on “Mud” and “Midnight Special,” Nichols has always had an eye and mind for storytelling, and “Loving” is no different, as he brings his unique style of directing to the screen to tell this important story.

Alongside Nichols’ stunning direction and script are the captivating performances from the film’s leads, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, portraying Richard and Mildred, respectively.

Edgerton is more known for his intimidating demeanor in films including “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Black Mass,” but in this film, he shows a more dramatic touch, getting into the head of Richard Loving, just wanting to be married to his wife and lead a happy life, even if the state of Virginia says he can’t.

Negga has never had a problem playing the dramatic characters, and she continues to show her strength in “Loving” as Mildred Loving, expertly balancing a woman trying to fight injustice, while also hoping to just move on with her life and live with her husband and three children.

“Loving” takes a quiet, more subtle approach to bringing this true story to life that features compelling performances and beautiful direction, making this a truly captivating and powerfully relevant film.