To be honest, I watched this film only because of Ruth Negga. She’d got the Academy Award nomination for the role and after Preacher and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I wanted to see her somewhere else. She proved me that she can be somebody else each time I see her on screen, but I wondered whether this difference is only my own belief or she indeed has some actual talent.
Ruth literally proved herself here. She played someone completely different than badass Tulip or Raina. There’s such a girly fragility in this role and a lot of modesty and maternity from the 1960s.
And apart from that, there’s some magic in watching the film only because of the actor. Not knowing what you should expect. I watched a lot of films because of either an actor or just a title I was pointed to. Much recommended. It can be a brilliant experience.
The film itself is beautiful. There aren’t many stories about happy marriages that I have seen, and this one was one of this bunch. It shows that perfect world doesn’t exist. Everyone has their bigger or smaller problems and the important part is to fight them together. I’d never before heard about Loving case, so throughout the film, I was certain that they would start a fight because of differences in thinking or such things. And I believe in life it did, but they still remained together until the end. This is such a beautiful concept, really. With all the differences in today’s world, it was telling a story that it can work out no matter how terrible the burden.
It certainly was supposed to remind people why racism is wrong and why there are more important things than a skin colour. Somewhat today’s world is free of different treatments, but under the cover of law, there’re still racists (and other haters) who hate other people’s love just because it’s different than they define it. So, does it all have to be like that? Why can’t we accept the freedom and love of other people? Especially when it doesn’t really harm us? The world is not ready to accept others completely. Maybe one day, there happen to be some more shocking relationships, and ones which are considered wrong today will be free to be who they are. Change is in the air, but the wind is blowing in every direction.
Going back to the film itself, it was a well made one. Nothing really special nor to remember but it was a good, sturdy picture. It was supposed to tell a real-life story more than manipulate the technics, shock and so on. And it served its purpose. However, I did like some camera shots and cuts. It was very focused on what you can see, more than the dialogue, humour or any other verbal interventions. They focused everything on how it looked. And it kind of made me watch it so focused, without realising how long it was. Furthermore, it was so pretty, so simple but complicated that you couldn’t just try doing anything else but watching.
Next main thing was acting. To be honest, there wasn’t much of it, because it focused on the couple. But it was something. The characters were simple people, living in the 1960s. There were some
rules and behaviours to follow and the actors managed it very well. Joel Edgerton got a fascinating role because his Richard was this silent person and all his emotions and thoughts had to be shown through his face. He handled it incredibly. I loved looking at him wondering what Richard actually thinks about. I couldn’t understand the guy. He was both strong and scared and that was exactly what I expect to be being shown humanity.
The same goes to Ruth who did not only prove me that she can play someone completly different, but also that she indeed deserved the nomination. The rest of the cast were mostly nonames for me, but it’s not a surprise here. Afterall, it was a small budget production (estimated 9M).
Screenplay wasn’t very special, but as I said, it was about the story not some shocking plot twists. Director/writer Jeff Nichols got really into the story and gave us the whole of it. It was indeed a film which had all its parts on the right places. No preaching, only confirming that yes, he can do a good film. It might simply be telling some story, but it is still a film and still a story. What was nice were the things that were happening outside the frame. There’re plenty of situations that we know only because we were told about and it was nice touch to cut some extended budget, and possibly time. After all, the film is 2h and I didn’t actually feel that.
Additional info: Beautiful costumes. All the outfits Ruth wore were simply stunning. And she’s such a beautiful woman, it was a pleasure to see it.
PS. There was Hershel’s house and barn from The Walking Dead. It was surprising and nice to realise.