Loving is writer and director, Jeff Nichols’ take on the true events that became both an inspiring love story and a landmark civil rights case during the 1960s.
The historical drama champions the real-life commitment of interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.) The pair were quiet people with simple dreams - to build a house and raise their family just a few miles from where they were born. Unfortunately, in 1958, their marriage was illegal in the state of Virginia. The ensuing nine-year legal battle would eventually make it all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The Lovings are not the civil rights advocates one might expect. Richard is portrayed as a reserved man and dedicated husband, who is protective and resistant to the fame the case brings his family. Mildred dutifully accepts the spotlight, but never once stops to revel in it. In the end, it’s not outspokenness, but rather their perseverance and unwavering devotion to each other that finally wins their case.
Nichols’ handled this topic with the understated intimacy it deserves. Loving boasts calm, tender performances from both Edgerton and Negga, set against the sweeping landscapes of rural Virginia.
The delicate approach feels most appropriate for this account of an ordinary couple taking on an extraordinary case with unwavering patience and resolve. The subtlety works to make this already affecting story all the more moving.