Search

Loving, film: ‘Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are the whole film’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 January 2017

Loving starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. Picture: Ben Rothstein/Focus Features

Loving starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. Picture: Ben Rothstein/Focus Features

Archant

Jeff Nichols’ true life story focuses on the little things in life and is as understated as its protagonists

Richard Loving is not an expressive man. Most of the time he looks like he’s cogitating on an imminent spit. He squints out at the world like it’s a Sudoku puzzle, and nobody ain’t never told him about Sudoku.

He’s a level land hillbilly, a social progressive redneck who, by deciding to marry a black girl, Mildred (Ruth Negga) when the state of Virginia still had laws about that kind of thing, sets in motion a string of events that would go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Mildred takes some active interest in it but he remains largely unconcerned. He gets on with his business and leaves history to swirl around them.

The film is as understated as its protagonist. Anyone put off this because they can’t face another grandstanding civil rights drama with rednecks and big dramatic speeches should be assured that Loving is something much less, but way better, than that.

Jeff Nichols’ version of this true life story focuses on the little things in life and allows the big things to just get on with themselves, largely off stage. Really Joel Edgerton and Negga are the whole film, and they are more than enough.

Richard doesn’t say anything more than is strictly necessary and the film is similarly tight lipped, sometimes frustratingly so.

When the pair get thrown in jail he is bailed out soon but she has to spend the weekend in jail. We never find out who bails him out and why none of her family come down to bail her out.

Similarly, a few dates and times wouldn’t go amiss. Some explanations too. After their arrest they are sentenced to leave Virginia for 25 years but they flout that ruling and do so while conducting a high profile legal challenge, and inviting a Life magazine photographer (Michael Shannon, no Nichols film is complete without him) to their Virginia home.

Still, the up side of not saying much is that when words do pass your lips, they have real force. When asked what he would say to the Supreme Court, Richard’s response, “I love my wife,” is quietly devastating. Taciturn dignity is a hell of quality to have.

Halfmanhalfcritic.weebly.com; Peckinpah and De Palma blu-rays, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia and Raising Cain.

Rating: 4/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Thursday, May 17, 2018

BBC presenter Zeb Soanes launches children’s books series inspired by his close-up encounter with an Islington fox

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cally man Dan Storey gave up art at 15 despite loving it. Now 42, he tells the Gazette about his first exhibition, which is running until June.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ahead of their performance at The Dome in Tufnell Park on May 26, frontman Matt Baty discusses the band’s high-energy live shows and funding their forthcoming second album

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hollyoaks star Paul Danan and glamour model Lucy Pinder give good performances in this raucous satire of lad culture

PROMOTED CONTENT

“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now