Wednesday, April 24, 2024

REVIEW Jeff Nichols’ Loving Story of Racial Prejudice on 1958 Interracial Marriage


In a moment when Donald Trump has brought the issue of race forward on a divisive way Jeff Nichols “Loving” comes just in time. Understated performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga make this narrative adaptation of Nancy Biurski’s documentary a powerful reminder how backwards the U.S. south and can still be when it comes to basic civil rights.

Rather than play out the Supreme Court case that finally allowed a mixed race couple in Virginia to be married, nichols uses the couples relationship and deep love for each other to depict their story.

Indeed when the lawyers appear it’s almost a shock to the film’s elegiac tone. (They sound like they’re in a film strip.) It will take lot to move “Loving” out of art houses. But I suspect on VOD and new platforms it will be captivating.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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