'Loving' is, pardon the pun, Loving-ly rendered



*** (R) 

After having seen it this past May at Cannes, Jeff Nichols' "Loving" is finally coming out to the general public this coming Friday. Although I was somewhat underwhelmed by the film at first, I have to say it was for the wrong reasons. There is no Oscar-baiting in this film or as Anthony Lane so eloquently put it in his mixed/positive review of the film "The quiet joke of the film is that you could scarcely meet two less revolutionary souls." The very thing that put me off guard at first is the reason why I do recommend this lovely film.
    "Loving" is a very delicate film about racial injustice in the 1950s. Now, just stop there, ponder how rare that is for a studio film. It's not grandiose nor does it shove any melodrama in your face. The camera is still and just peeks, watches as an interracial couple sublimely maintain their composure with restraint as authorities continuously try to break their union apart. 

    Most filmmakers would have shot the whole thing as one show-stopping scene after another with much dramatic fireworks, oh, and don't forget you probably have to hammer down the message on your audiences throats. That is not the case here. Jeff Nichols' "Loving" is so subtle and restrained that you do fear many Oscar voters might not appreciate it as they should. We have been force-fed to like flashy, putting-a-lump-on-your-throat kind of ways of telling a true story, but that's rarely how they actually occur in real life. Some of the time history is made in the most mundane and dull of situations. Spielberg's "Lincoln" knew that and Jeff Nichols' "Loving" knows that as well. By all means go and watch the film with this review in mind.

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