Film review: “Loving” (2016)

If you want to see evidence of a good film, look for two things

* Over 90% on rottentomatoes.com

* The Director and a quorum of the actors showing at the oak table on Charlie Rose

mildred_jeter_and_richard_loving-xlarge_transahd6x3lw3lgv45ug3tlonfkd4w7tvk-zqpixarbayny“Loving” sports both, so you always know it’s worth a look.

In the 50s, there really was a law in the South prohibiting interracial marriage and it was enforced. The issue was that the politics of the day frowned on creating interracial children. This very loving couple were caught up in this and their true story has been chronicled elsewhere. The film centers on the emotions of the time, not so much the politics and does so very successfully.

Despite convincing Southern accents, neither principal actor hails from the South, or even the USA. One is Australian and the other is Irish. Both do incredible jobs of creating the persona of real Southerners. Richard Loving is a classic Southern working guy, a man of simple pleasures and few words. Mildred Loving is perpetually afraid and for very good reason. The sheriff ( Paul Csokas -born and raised in New Zealand) is totally chilling and will raise your hackles.

Of course you know what I notice.  Everything and I mean EVERYTHING in this film is totally period perfect, and this is the mark of a master director. The actors do their job and he does his.  The massive collection of 1950s cars.  All the dwellings in the rural South. The clothing. Richard Loving’s 1956 Ford Victoria V-8 hardtop with an aftermarket tachometer screwed to the top of the dash. You can’t afford that car today.

This is a deeply emotional film that takes its time in the progression of events, the actors given free reign by the director and it works exceptionally well. In the end, the SCOTUS ruled that who we love is no one’s business. A landmark civil rights decision.

I give it a solid four and a half patches of condensation on the inside of the lawyer’s watch crystal (look for that).  I do believe that both these actors will be in the hunt for an Oscar this Spring. I think must-see.

 

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