MOVIE REVIEW: Loving

Powerful love story set in Virginia in the 1960’s.  A White man and an African American girl fall in love, when she falls pregnant and they marry in Washington D.C., they set off a chain of events that change the way that interracial marriage is viewed in America.

loving2_h_2016I was raised a Catholic, but it didn’t stick, as I had questions, and everyone knows that the Holy Church in Rome was not a big fan of questions from inquiring minds.  I still believe in a God, just not a religion, if that makes sense to anyone.  I believe that Jesus said ‘Love one another’ and that’s about all that we know for sure.  He didn’t include the fast bit at the end of commercials where they have the terms and conditions.  Love one another.  It’s a simple format of life that I try to do.  I don’t care about how you self identify, your race, your sexuality, or which sports team you support.  No matter how you are born if you are nice to me I’ll be nice to you.  If you’re evils towards me or those I care about, I’ll try toconvince you to change your mind.  It’s that simple.  So Loving is simply about love, and how the America of 1960’s viewed the segregation of love, and people.download

I sit here at nearly midnight in my PJ’s while someone is snoring in the other room and go on about the great script, which touches on the amazing, the beautiful cinematography which dances with elegance through the countryside of Virginia to the harsh bricks of Washington D.C., and I can even point out plot points which manage to avoid the cliché of films like this.  But the truth is that two people steal this film.  Joel Edgerton, who gives everything to every role I’ve ever seen him in, and it never feels that he uses any one part of his talent the same way twice, is so calm and Jedi like through this role that you warm to him straight away.  He would storm the gates of hell for Mildred, his wife, but he knows he would die doing so, you feel the frustration of that character, when they get arrested for being married.  While Ruth Negga, Irish girl, plays Mildred a simple country girl in love with this silent and strong young man, fighting for the right to bring up her children in the Virginia countryside.  If Ms. Negga does not win the Oscar for this role then I’ll be shocked.  Mildred is calmly keeping things together while in her face you see the anguish of the situation illing her.

loving_2016_8451232Frank and Mildred are told that they will have to go to jail, divorce, or leave the state of Virginia for 25 years.  Not willing to give up on their love they move to Washington D.C., however no matter how long they stay there it’s not home, their children cannot run through the fields as their parents did, they can’t feel the peace of the night time country air, and soon they set out to defy the state and go back in.  The story is slow, wonderfully slow, and it needs to be, you need to feel the anguish of the characters and the hatred of the time.  You need to see the lines drawn between then and how close we are to them now again, how we must not allow any consensual love to be outlawed.  I also want to congratulate writer/director Jeff Nichols and actor Marton Csokas for giving one of the more original racist Sheriff’s that we’ve seen.  Csokas has this bubbling undertow of anger that he holds back when he sees this loving couple together.

I loved this film.  My problem with the film is that I felt cheated by not having a rousing moment where I could stand up in the cinema and scream ‘Take that you Racist Bastard!’  and I wanted more of this True Story.  If you haven’t seen this film then go see it, you need to see it, we need to remember that if two people love one another, once consensual, we should celebrate it, we should never ill define love.  It’s a wonderful statement of love and we need to remember, now more than ever, that John Lennon was right, Love is all we need.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton

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