Richard Loving, a white labourer, married Mildred Jetta in 1958, in contravention of the miscegenation laws current in Virginia which banned inter-racial marriages. The American Civil Liberties Union took their case to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
You’d never know that Joel Edgerton, who plays Richard Loving, is Australian because his monosyllabic utterances are just as incomprehensible to Australian ears as the rest of the dialogue in the film. Mildred Loving played by Ruth Negga, is a more nuanced character, although her doe-eyed sorrow became rather lugubrious by the end of what felt like a very long film.
I’ve been grizzling lately about films which purport to be ‘based on a true story’ that insert dramatic scenes that did not occur. I don’t think that I need complain about such things here. The court action takes place off stage, because neither Richard nor Mildred wanted to attend, and whatever Richard Loving was thinking, he sure wasn’t saying it. There’s no high drama in this film, and no knock-em-dead scene: just the sense of brewing trouble and festering injustice. It’s a sobering story, and one that we should know. But, as I said, it did feel like a very long movie.
Consistent with my usual belated reviewing, ‘Loving’ is advertised as ‘Last Days!’ at Cinema Nova.
My rating: 3.5 stars