Jeff Nichols’ most recent release is the kind of character-orientated story that he is an expert at delivering. This time it focuses on real-life couple Richard and Mildred Loving, and a historic case that changed the United States’ constitution.
The film follows the aforementioned couple, as they are persecuted for their marriage under the law, and fight against it, eventually taking their battle to the supreme court.
It is a quiet, yet powerful film, and is very much about the people and how they dealt with the circumstances, than it is about the legal struggle itself. It is subsequently tender and touching, bringing the audience into the heart of the situation, and really humanises the whole ordeal, and the reality for inter-racial couples of the time.
The acting is subtle and real, with both Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga (earning a deserved Oscar-nomination) giving performances full of authenticity, and capturing a real chemistry and torment on screen. Each of the supporting cast (including, of course, Michael Shannon) is also great, filling out the world. It is an intimate affair, and thus emphatically more emotional than it could otherwise have been in other hands.
It has cosy visuals and a beautiful emotional arc. Even though you know where the story is going, it keeps you gripped, and is a touching tribute to two people (and those around them) whose love conquered the odds, and changed the constitution for the better.