Focus Features | Release Date: November 4, 2016
7.3
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Generally favorable reviews based on 109 Ratings
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7
BrianMcCriticFeb 11, 2017
While I appreciate Loving for the story it tells, I believe it plays to close to the vest. There's just not enough passion or emotion given to some of these characters. In the end though it is worth at least checking out. B+
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7
SpangleNov 27, 2016
The most low-key work by director Jeff Nichols, Loving is a slow, moving, and reserved film about two very reserved people. Telling the story of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), Loving recounts their love, theirThe most low-key work by director Jeff Nichols, Loving is a slow, moving, and reserved film about two very reserved people. Telling the story of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), Loving recounts their love, their marriage, and the legal battle that legalized interracial marriage nationwide. A truly historic case, Loving is not concerned with the courtroom. Rather, it is a love story about two unassuming country folk who fell in love. That said, in doing this, Loving loses the climax of their "freedom", opting to focus upon their relationship and given the silent, stoic nature of the couple. This leaves the film lacking the impactful ending demanded by the importance of the case. However, with great direction, acting, and cinematography, Loving does manage to overcome its camera shy approach to telling this story.

Two shy people, the Loving's are brilliantly brought to life by Edgerton and Negga. Though, on watching, their performances are so slight they evade detection. As such, the viewer is forced to peel back to the onion and, upon doing so, the emotion of the film is revealed. However, it is still very subtle and comes in non-noteworthy actions, embraces, or delivery of lines. For example, the famed photo of Richard resting his head in Mildred's lap that was published in Life Magazine is one such moment. Tender, subtle, and entirely romantic, as is the rest of the film, this moment encapsulates the beauty of their romance. In a similar tone, Richard telling his lawyer Bernard Cohen (Nick Kroll) to tell the Supreme Court that he "loves his wife" is a truly powerful moment amplified by Edgerton's delivery. Thus, it is undeniable that both Negga and Edgerton turned in stellar performances. Though more low-key than many performances and, should either win, it will largely be criticized by the general public, both are worthy nominees. That said, Kroll is quite bad here. He struggles to fit in and appears ready to make a joke at any turn. The fact I laughed when he was first shown is indicative that he is not ready for a dramatic role. His acting did little to change my mind, as he seemed like a comedic actor punching above his weight class.

The film's cinematography is also great and fully embraced by Nichols. With slow drawn out sequences, Nichols allows the camera to really soak in the beauty of the scenery and farm country. In many ways, the visuals are a love letter to the rural environment that Nichols so clearly loves in each of his films. Furthermore, once again, the best shot here comes in a car. From over Edgerton's shoulder, there is a great shot in a car and, just as in Midnight Special, a shot of cars speeding ahead with the headlights glowing on the road are terrific. Nichols seems to favor this shot lately and his films' look definitely benefit from this affection.

However, the film is held back by its commitment to its couple. Just as low-key and shy as its protagonists, Loving is an unassuming and quiet film. As such, it can be quite slow and, at the end, devoid of emotional punch. For such a landmark case, its emotional climax comes and goes with rapid speed. Though the decision to focus on the romance and not the courtroom elements help the film not feel as tedious as a courtroom film often can, it does hurt the film by losing the weight and power of the case that it depicts. Loving v. Virginia is a landmark decision and had the film at least shown the decision being delivered without any of the arguments, it would have been a film with incredible emotion and a terrific climax. Instead, the audience gets the decision on the other end of the phone. While true to its characters, Loving's conclusion to its case does not fit thematically or entertainment-wise.

As a whole, Loving may be my least favorite work by Nichols, though I have yet to see Shotgun Stories. That said, it is still a beautiful and lyrical experience that is a love letter to love and country living. Though it lacks the punch I hoped it would have, its tenderly depicted and written romance is tremendous.
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7
RatedRexNov 4, 2016
"Loving" is a quiet, thoughtful film that ask, who are we to tell anyone else who to fall in love with. The epitome of insecurity is to want someone else to do, what you want him to do, in order for you to preserve your opinion of yourself."Loving" is a quiet, thoughtful film that ask, who are we to tell anyone else who to fall in love with. The epitome of insecurity is to want someone else to do, what you want him to do, in order for you to preserve your opinion of yourself. "Loving" confronts those insecurities without beating the subject over the head. Don't go into the theatre looking for melodrama, with a bunch of dramatic scenes. "Loving" moves at a steady, deliberate pace, with fluctuating decimal levels...just like real life. Expand
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9
BHBarryNov 6, 2016
“Loving” is a film based on the real life story of Richard and Mildred Loving who were arrested, chastised and banned from their home town by the legal authorities in the State of Virginia for violating its laws against inter-racial marriage.“Loving” is a film based on the real life story of Richard and Mildred Loving who were arrested, chastised and banned from their home town by the legal authorities in the State of Virginia for violating its laws against inter-racial marriage. Ably acted by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga who portray the courageous couple as they and their supporters helped bring about the 1967 landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia (which declared that marriage among any couple, regardless of race, was a right that the states could not deny). This decision laid the groundwork for the ultimate ruling by the high court acknowledging the rights of person of the same sex to also have the right to marry and so the film, and the story, goes far beyond 1967 to our present day human rights victories. Defying the old adage that a writer/director cannot do both as effectively as if there were 2 separate individuals In those roles, Jeff Nichols does a noteworthy job in both capacities and brings forth from the actors subtle, low key performances that capture the strength and humility that are typical of so many of history’s unsung heroes. How ironic, too, that the title of the film and the surname of the real people in this story is a word that best describes their attitude towards each other and the 3 children they raised.
I give the filma 9 rating for its honesty and dedication to the facts. It not only serves as a reminder to those of us who lived through this sad and regrettable period in our past but, equally as important, as an education for those who did not.
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7
DirigiblePulpFeb 27, 2017
A film whose emphasis on understated, everyday love is both its highest achievement and its own undoing. The film wants us to understand, at the extent of legal battles, racial tension and civil rights, just how normal and common the Loving'sA film whose emphasis on understated, everyday love is both its highest achievement and its own undoing. The film wants us to understand, at the extent of legal battles, racial tension and civil rights, just how normal and common the Loving's love was. This is both admirable and problematic.

Their love is too common and taken for granted to amount to much more on screen, and the legal battle so short-handed it's hard to engage with it beyond the future knowledge of its importance. I want to commend this film with a pat on the back, and rough enough that it might jolt it into some kind of fiery energy all its own.
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8
jeremypNov 20, 2016
A solid serious movie about a mixed race country couple whose court case changed the miscegenation laws in 24 states. In the 1960's no less. The acting is superb. Edgerton captures the sullen, withdrawn husband and Negga the more outgoingA solid serious movie about a mixed race country couple whose court case changed the miscegenation laws in 24 states. In the 1960's no less. The acting is superb. Edgerton captures the sullen, withdrawn husband and Negga the more outgoing wife. It was the wife's letter to Bobby Kennedy that set off the case. The movie captures the era well, the Sheriff and Judge are straight from "deep south white racists" central casting. A true human interest story about a rural couple caught up in government legalized racism. It never strays from this path keeping the legal issues as sidelines and not the high drama it could have been portrayed as. A must see movie for all High Schools history classes Expand
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9
TVJerryNov 28, 2016
This film is based on the true case of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who lived in Virginia (where the film was also shot) and ultimately challenged the miscegenation laws in the Supreme Court. This film quietly tells theirThis film is based on the true case of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who lived in Virginia (where the film was also shot) and ultimately challenged the miscegenation laws in the Supreme Court. This film quietly tells their story without overblown outrage or extreme emotion. Director Jeff Nichols lets images, especially faces, poignantly tell as much of the story as the minimal dialogue. With the sweetly touching, skillfully underplayed performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga (both of whom will surely see Oscar noms) their situation is rendered even more poignant. Some may find the pace slow, but I found it quietly compelling. In addition to the historical significance of the case, this film beautifully portrays the enduring love that made their relationship transcend racial boundaries. Expand
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9
GreatMartinNov 16, 2016
Richard Loving loved his wife Mildred and she loved him but never once in the movie “Loving” do they say “I love you,” in words. The way they look at each other, touch each other, lean on each other, interact with each other shows those threeRichard Loving loved his wife Mildred and she loved him but never once in the movie “Loving” do they say “I love you,” in words. The way they look at each other, touch each other, lean on each other, interact with each other shows those three words more than saying it would. At one point Richard tells a lawyer that he should tell the Supreme Court that he loves her and in a scene that will have you holding your breath not by what is said but how Mildred looks at Richard after she hears the decision tells you more than heavy love making or sex scenes could.

Based on a true story the only thing ‘Hollywood’ about “Loving” is that Loving is the real name of the White man and Black woman who drive to Washington D. C. to get married as at that time it was illegal to marry a person of a different race to wed in Virginia. After returning to Virginia their bedroom is invaded by the Sherriff and they are arrested and jailed this being the only jarring scene in this movie.

Jeff Nichols, director and writer of the screenplay, tells the story in a very low key of the couple’s right to marry, live together, and raise their children together. After writing a letter to Robert Kennedy the case is taken by the ACLU to the Supreme Court. There are no dramatic court scenes with just a brief voiceover telling the final decision declaring marriage an inherent right. The sheriff could have been shown in a very sinister light but he is the law of the State until it is changed. While the intermingling of Whites and Blacks is mostly underplayed, with the positive and negative aspects shown as accepted way of life neither side is ‘right’. One scene, in a local bar, could have been explosive but stops short just as showing Black and White men’s enjoying a day of drag racing is just that, friends enjoying their day off.

The only ‘Hollywood’ aspect of the film is that the name of the couple are Loving but that was the case and couldn’t be improved upon just as the performances of Joel Edgerton as Richard and Ruth Negga as Mildred couldn’t have been Improved upon. Richard is a silent man who just wants to provide for the wife and kids he loves, doesn’t even want to get involved with the Supreme Court case or the attention it draws to him. He wants to do his job being a bricklayer and tinker with the cars for the drag races. Mildred wants to care for her husband, children, make a comfortable home for them without interference from anyone. Both actors express so much with saying so little.

With Marton Scokas as the Sheriff, Nick Kroll and Jon Bass as the ACLU lawyers plus an ensemble of excellent actors, playing family members and friends, director Jeff Nichols has no need for histrionics to bring attention to them.

As the screenwriter, Nichols steers clear of clichés and concentrates on the love aspect of the couple instead of theatrics of the lawyers. What he gives us is a moving story, a story that will bring a tear or two to your eyes while bringing an important law case to many that would change lives and lead to ‘declaring marriage an inherent right’ and making Gay marriage possible.

“Loving” is definitely one of the best movies I have seen this year.
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7
swingNov 15, 2016
Beautifully filmed and acted. So laid back, you might think you are looking at a still painting. There is little dialogue thatcreates any tension. You don't really learn anything about the characters themselves. I did love the periodBeautifully filmed and acted. So laid back, you might think you are looking at a still painting. There is little dialogue thatcreates any tension. You don't really learn anything about the characters themselves. I did love the period music though. I would recommend it, but it is really slow moving. Expand
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7
LeZeeFeb 24, 2017
The choices of life we want to live are ours to make.

The film was inspired by the real life event, book and the documentary film. The message was awesome, but it's more like a personal. At least from the film's perspective about a couple
The choices of life we want to live are ours to make.

The film was inspired by the real life event, book and the documentary film. The message was awesome, but it's more like a personal. At least from the film's perspective about a couple and their struggle. Also the personalities of those two, who are so quiet, hence seems it was like a documentary film with a feature film touch. That does not mean Ruth Negga deserved the Oscars nominee. She got it only because of the black quota, otherwise there are many great performances to be considered who are not white, black or even American.

So coming to the film, I like this kind of drama, It was so realistic and I won't mind if it runs past two hour mark. The first appreciation must go the two lead actors, they were the soul of the film. Surely awards worthy performances, but like I said not the Oscars. Especially I loved the Joel Edgerton's part. It is one of his, maybe the best I have seen so far, For many reasons the people should watch this. Jeff Nichols of 'Take Shelter' fame did good in writing and direction, especially after his slightly disappointing previous film. One of the best biopic of the year and I recommend it not to miss, particularly for the family audience.

7/10
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9
BeeceeNov 28, 2016
This is a somewhat low-key film that presents the married life of Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial Virginia couple who are prevented from living as a married couple in their home state of Virginia in the 1950's and 1960's and whoThis is a somewhat low-key film that presents the married life of Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial Virginia couple who are prevented from living as a married couple in their home state of Virginia in the 1950's and 1960's and who wind up going to the Supreme Court to defend their rights. Their case voided all the miscegenation laws still on the books in the south. The acting of the two main characters was superb, and I was riveted to the screen, even though I knew how it would all turn out. The director could have included more histrionics and drama, but I felt that his presentation was true to the nature of the Lovings. It was fascinating to see that the demure housewife Mildred was really the more courageous of the two in the pursuit of justice. Expand
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9
Brent_MarchantNov 11, 2016
A heartfelt, personal take on a bigger story with wide-sweeping implications, showing the human impact on ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. The film's understated writing, nuanced performances and successful handlingA heartfelt, personal take on a bigger story with wide-sweeping implications, showing the human impact on ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. The film's understated writing, nuanced performances and successful handling of legal issues that could have easily become unwieldy lend much to this well-crafted biopic, one worthy of all the accolades it has and will likely receive. Truly one of the standout offerings of this year's awards season releases. Expand
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8
John935Mar 11, 2017
Pacing is slow, so you should expect that. Star-making for Ruth Negga; Edgerton's already a star. I don't know if I've ever seen an 'issue' movie filmed with such unaffected tenderness. Almost shockingly beautiful. The subject matter is stillPacing is slow, so you should expect that. Star-making for Ruth Negga; Edgerton's already a star. I don't know if I've ever seen an 'issue' movie filmed with such unaffected tenderness. Almost shockingly beautiful. The subject matter is still important. A homerun for director Nichols. Expand
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8
badgerryan19May 19, 2017
Pretty good. The movie puts itself in a very important time period. The acting is great and you really get invested in the story. Joel Edgerton always seems to keep getting overlooked with his performances. Another true story brought to thePretty good. The movie puts itself in a very important time period. The acting is great and you really get invested in the story. Joel Edgerton always seems to keep getting overlooked with his performances. Another true story brought to the big screen done right. Expand
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8
JcondicDec 21, 2016
Loving is a beautiful film that exams the love between this couple through everything they endure. The whole film is simple with very little dialogue, it doesn’t even show the court room proceedings, Nichols chose to avoid the melodramaticLoving is a beautiful film that exams the love between this couple through everything they endure. The whole film is simple with very little dialogue, it doesn’t even show the court room proceedings, Nichols chose to avoid the melodramatic plot points a lesser director would have used to make a generic bio flick. The two lead performances are heartbreaking. The scene where the Life Magazine photographer takes pictures of them on the couch might be one of the most touching scenes of the year. As wary as they are of the man this was a moment where they let their guard down and its beautiful and sad that they couldn’t always be like that. Instead they had to live looking over their shoulder. Jeff Nichols is two for two this year here’s hoping we don’t’ have to wait to long for his next film. Expand
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9
Seymour_MoviesDec 11, 2016
I may be biased toward Jeff Nichols' movies because I love everything he does, but I think he did it again. This is an emotional story that is done justice by tasteful directing and unreal performances by Edgerton and Negga with help from anI may be biased toward Jeff Nichols' movies because I love everything he does, but I think he did it again. This is an emotional story that is done justice by tasteful directing and unreal performances by Edgerton and Negga with help from an amazing support cast. This movie is as important and relevant as ever. Expand
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7
madmoviemanNov 30, 2016
There have been a fair few Civil Rights dramas over the years, but what makes Loving one of the best ones is that it takes a slightly different approach to telling the story. Whilst its main message is the same, one of the injustices thatThere have been a fair few Civil Rights dramas over the years, but what makes Loving one of the best ones is that it takes a slightly different approach to telling the story. Whilst its main message is the same, one of the injustices that people suffered due to racial discrimination at the time, this film decides to give a very intimate look at two people whose lives were affected so much, something that gives it stronger and more tender emotion than a wide-scale Civil Rights biopic.

For starters, I want to talk about the way this film starts. Given that its focus is more centred on the relationship between husband and wife Richard and Mildred, you’d think that there would be a set up phase where they meet and fall in love, allowing you to form a stronger emotional connection with them.

However, in what is by far the best move of the entire film, we’re plunged straight into the middle of things, just days before they encounter the first instance of prejudice against their marriage. What makes that work so well is that you take the strength of their love and their relationship as a given, having only ever seen them so close, and because the first threat to the sanctity of their marriage comes so soon, it feels a lot more like you’ve been robbed of a blissfully happy couple than one you would have judgments of based on any setup phase.

It sounds like a strange comment to make, but it’s a striking way to open a film, and definitely played a big part in immediately getting me on side for what is quite a slow-paced, quiet and heavy-going film, something that doesn’t work out so well very often.

When it comes to the following two acts, I can’t say that we ever get the same level of emotional drama again, but what keeps the film interesting is the fact that it has such an intimate focus on Richard and Mildred. Unlike many films before it, it’s not all about whether their relationship will survive such turmoil, but instead how the two characters feel both individually and as a couple as a result of the injustice they suffer.

So, that means that this isn’t necessarily the film for a history buff looking for all the facts, but nor is it a sappy romance. In the end, Loving is actually one of the most personal films of the year, but that makes it a very memorable watch, and whilst its subject matter does make for some heavy-going drama at times, it’s engrossing from start to finish.

The performances here are very good too. Joel Edgerton, whilst not always the easiest to understand, does a great job at portraying Richard Loving. A complex character who’s both very introverted and yet very passionate about his wife, Edgerton makes that abundantly clear on screen, making Richard a particularly interesting character to follow. Alongside Edgerton is Ruth Negga, who, as the film goes on, begins to take a more central role in proceedings.

For her first major motion picture leading role, this is a very good turn from Negga, as she owns the screen in numerous dialogue sequences, and her character’s strength in the face of adversity, particularly in comparison to her husband, shines through brilliantly in Negga’s performance, which made her the character that I really took to and wanted to succeed in the legal battles.

If there is one issue with this film, then it is the fact that the events depicted don’t quite have the impact that I felt they warrant. I said earlier that this film’s more intimate focus instead of a wider historical context was a positive, and I stand by that, however there were moments when I felt that the legendary and seismic nature of this case, the one that overturned laws against interracial marriage in the US Constitution, wasn’t quite as strong as it could have been.

Overall, I thought Loving was a very interesting film that used its closely intimate focus very well. Starting off with a bang, it’s an engrossing watch from start to finish, and provides a different story to most Civil Rights dramas, albeit just missing a little more emphasis on the historical importance of its events. Its performances are excellent too, making its central characters fascinating to follow.
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7
amheretojudgeJun 4, 2018
a heartfelt soothing experience..

Loving There aren't many historical drama genre features that satisfies the audience through its mellow tone which is apt for the structure of the script. There aren't any high-pitched dramatic sequences
a heartfelt soothing experience..

Loving

There aren't many historical drama genre features that satisfies the audience through its mellow tone which is apt for the structure of the script. There aren't any high-pitched dramatic sequences that may stand out in here but it does flow like a melting butter that never fumbles its way down the road. Jeff Nichols; the writer-director, has written a gripping layered screenplay that is exceeded by its brilliant execution and editing that ups the ante of the feature and communicates with the audience in each and every frame. The feature fails to score on technical aspects like background score, production and custom design although it is shot beautifully which makes it supremely watchable. The performance objective is the game changer where Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton are in their A game on their parallel role as a couple struggling with its generation. Its first half hits hard and fast and establishes the stakes appropriately after which the maker takes their time on the second half and goes as deep as possible. Loving is a heartfelt soothing experience where there are lots of mutual aspects to connect and feel the characters projected and then the rest of it is carried off by stellar performances.
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8
dburks1990Jun 1, 2019
The actors portray their characters with such precision that it makes for a slow first half.
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