I don’t know a lot about Loving, but what I do know is that I do love the concept.
Without getting into too many details in my introduction (as I should properly tease it out), I also learned that finding a friend or colleague to watch Loving with you is sort of weird. I had one friend who wanted to see good movies, but his wife didn’t approve, because she wanted to watch it with him.
And then I found out inviting anyone based on the concept would be awkward. So did I watch it alone? Hell no, I watched in a theater of people, like I do most movies.
Don’t worry, we are a family in there, I don’t feel like a stranger.
Loving ain’t always easy. Just ask Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard (Joel Edgerton). A black woman and a white man, living in the 1950’s Virginia. Richard has always been around black people and his dad used to work with them, so he doesn’t care about color, but everyone else does. Needless to say, they do the thing together that they aren’t supposed to do, so they decide to get married before the baby comes out.
Unfortunately, they are not allowed to get married by state law, because of something Jesus said or something. Instead, they head up to DC, get their marriage on, and beat the system! Richard buys some land to build a house, and everything is swell.
Until the Sheriff (Marton Csokas) and a couple others break into her family home and see them in the same bed. Because of shitty laws, they get arrested, cannot bail each other out, and have a problem. Their crappy lawyer agrees to get them out of jail if they plead guilty, they are just banished from being in Virginia for the next 25 years at the same time.
Obviously there are issues. They can get legally married in one part of America, and arrested for it in another. How does that work? They should eventually fight this and get the Supreme Court to make marriage legal for all. What a good idea.
Also starring Will Dalton, Christopher Mann, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, and Michael Shannon.
To show your loving, you just need to cuddle. It is science.
Loving is a movie about an important case that is still referenced and relevant in our time. It is about love, and our protagonists have the last name of Loving. It is like a cheesy movie idea, but in real life. And with the title of Loving, I expected both a whole lot of love from some characters, and an equal amount of hate from others.
Instead, what I feel after the fact and felt from the characters feels mostly apathetic.
I will freely admit that Negga and Edgerton did great acting in this movie. I will say especially that Negga’s character is a bit more likeable and her personality basically carries the movie. I believe the way Edgerton portrayed his character was probably realistic to the real life man. But what I didn’t really feel in the movie was a realistic relationship between our leads.
The chemistry didn’t just feel off, but it felt stale. I wasn’t feeling anything from the two characters, and most of it thanks to the way Richard was portrayed. There was one moment of actual sincerity between them near the end, and it can be a director’s choice to show them that way until the case is finally won. But a third of the way in I am already checked out because of how fake it feels.
Loving was a film that spent 95% of its time focusing on the relationship between two people and their struggles. We barely get any court room drama, which is a disappointment. No, we just see how they react to it all as the lawyers fight for them in court over the various levels. It felt like we were given a media portrayal of their relationship and never a personal look between the two, despite the focus of the film clearly being on just their relationship.
If it wanted to make it more historical, we could have gotten more court room drama and things like that, but nope. Just relationship for this story. A relationship that portrayed by two well acted individuals in a seemingly non loving relationship.
2 out of 4.