2016 #1 – Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)

“We may lose the small battles, but we’ll win the big war.” – Ruth Negga as Mildred Loving in Loving

Loving (2016)
Director:
Jeff Nichols
Starring: joeledgertonruthnegga.pngmartincsoskasnickkrollmichaelshannon
Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon
Written By:
Jeff Nichols
Running Time: 123 minutes (2 hours, 3 minutes)
Genre(s): Biographical, Drama, History


In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision to invalidate laws that prohibited interracial marriage. At the center of this case were Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple who had been sentenced to one year in prison for marrying each other. The two had their sentence suspended, with the condition being they could not enter the state of Virginia for 25 years. Loving tells the landmark story of the couple.

If there is one thing that can be said about Loving, it is that it defy expectations. Knowing that this film is centered around the iconic Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case, one could have expected that the film would milk the drama involved in Richard and Mildred Loving’s story for all it is worth. Jeff Nichols does none of this though.

The film opens with Mildred (Ruth Negga) telling Richard (Joel Edgerton) that she is pregnant. It is a very intimate, personal scene that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Instead of playing on the dramatics, Nichols never steers away from the Lovings. They are the heart of the film and even when the two are being swept up in a whirlwind of tragic circumstance, the movie continues to focus solely on the understated lives of the two involved.

The climax of Loving, of course, involves the court case itself, but instead of showing anything happening inside of the courtroom, the audience only gets to hear what is going on. Meanwhile, the audience is shown images of the Lovings living their every day life – eating breakfast, doing housework, staring at a floor covered in toys after a long day’s work. The film doesn’t need to show the court case because everything shown is what matters in the end – the Lovings, like almost any other married couple, are just trying to get by through their day to day life.

The movie is anchored by two delicate, subdued performances from Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. Edgerton plays on Richard’s shyness, reservation and steadfast love perfectly, with the big weight of his performance coming at the very end when he tells Nick Kroll to remind the court that he loves his wife. Meanwhile, Negga’s eyes can speak 100 words, always providing a glimpse into the mind of Mildred. It is a beautiful performance and she is the MVP of the film.

To conclude, Loving is a touching, restrained look at the lives of two ordinary people trying to make do in a world that refuses to accept them for who they are. 4/5.


2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
1. Loving –
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Director
1. Jeff Nichols – Loving
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Joel Edgerton – Loving
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Ruth Negga – Loving
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Original Screenplay
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Loving – Jeff Nichols
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Film Ensemble
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Original Score
1. Loving – David Wingo
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Production Design
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Cinematography
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Costume Design
1. Loving – Erin Benach
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Film Editing
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Visual Effects
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)
1. Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s