Sunday, December 11, 2016

Loving is a quiet look at the Civil Rights movement and interracial marriages

Movie Title:  Loving

Grade:  A-

Rating:  PG-13, 123 minutes

In a Nutshell: Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, this historical drama sensitively tells the true story about the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.  

This movie received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film is based in part on the documentary The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski.

Loving is the last name of the married couple, yet also a simple statement about what’s important in life.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Love doesn’t come in colors.
  • “Marriage is a fundamental right.” – Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll)

Things I liked:
  • Joel Edgerton does a great job.  His character  becomes an unexpected civil rights activist. Wow, those blue eyes.
  • Ruth Negga has incredibly expressive eyes. I first noticed her in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - Season 2 [DVD] and think she is so beautiful.
  • I love the imagery and symbolism of Richard Loving building foundations as a hard-working brick layer.  The foundation of a loving family is built on a strong marriage.  The foundation of a successful country is its good, hard-working citizens and the protection of civil liberties.
  • This film’s treatment of the Loving’s story is very respectful and understated, making it all the more powerful.
  • Michael Shannon plays a very small role as Grey Villet, but is a welcomed addition and a softer character than we’re used to seeing him play.  Director Jeff Nichols adores Michael Shannon, as this is their 5th film together.
  • You get to see the famous picture of Richard and Mildred Loving at the end of the movie.
  • Marton Csokas does a great job playing a man you don't like, the racist Sheriff Brooks.

Things I didn’t like:
  • There isn’t any humor to offset the heavy sadness and drama of the serious social issues.
  • It’s extremely slow moving. 

Interesting lines:
  • “Now you know what’s it like.” – Virgil (Will Dalton)
  • “Is there anything you’d like me to say to them?  And by 'them' I mean the Supreme Court justices of the United States?” –Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll)
“Yeah.  You can tell the judge…tell the judge I love my wife.” – Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton)

Tips for parents: 
  • You’ll hear the “N” word.
  • Discussion of premarital sex.
  • If you’re 45 years or younger, it’s hard to imagine a time when interracial couples were not allowed to marry.  You can have a good discussion with your children about racism and civil liberties.  America has come a long way since the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s, although we still have a long way to go.

Other fantastic movies about the Civil Rights movement that you should see:

Lee Daniels' The Butler
The Help
Mississippi Burning
Remember The Titans
To Kill a Mockingbird
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