2 items from 2016
Loving is perhaps the least likely and most necessary film to accompany the conclusion of this year’s tumultuous U.S. presidential election: a drama that’s at once calm, even tranquil, and still a vital reminder of the possibility of progressive politics. The newest from writer-director Jeff Nichols (and his second this year, after Midnight Special) tells the story leading up to another momentous event in U.S. history, the landmark civil rights decision Loving v. Virginia, in 1967. But, as Alissa Wilkinson writes at Vox, it does so in a way unlike anything else we’ve seen in this election:It’s difficult, leading up to any election — and especially this one — to not see everything, including pop culture, through the lens of politics. But even by pre-election standards, Loving, about the couple at the center of the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, would seem to be obviously political. »
Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton deliver remarkably nuanced performances in Loving, a late ’50s- / early ‘60s-set true life story of a mixed-race couple whose illegal marriage became a landmark case in the United States Supreme Court. Having tried his hand at the coming-of-age drama (Mud) and both small- and large-scale science fiction (Take Shelter and Midnight Special, respectively), the increasingly prolific Jeff Nichols branches out once more here to the awards season period drama. This heartwarming and wonderfully refined film might not do a whole lot of things we haven’t seen before in the civil rights-era picture, but it does the familiar stuff with enormous care and control.
As they say about these sorts of things: you just couldn’t write it. In June 1958, at the age of 18, Mildred Delores Jeter — of African American and Native American descent — became pregnant with the child of Richard Loving, a 24-year-old white man. »
- Rory O'Connor
2 items from 2016
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