Loving (2016) Review

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The true story of Richard and Mildred Loving an interracial couple who were punished in Virginia for being together. The fight they must endure for their love to be recognised will eventually change America.

I was rather interested to see this film after hearing a little buzz around the performances and subject matter of it. The trailer gets you drawn in and then you go to see the film. It is not a bad film and the performances are ok, but I was not overly impressed with it to be completely honest. I thought we were going to get an incredible love story with passion and emotions thrown in, we don’t see that.

We get what feels like a long drawn out and at times boring story. It is just lacking edge, the pair don’t really look like they actually enjoy being together in the end and appear to doubt if the possibility of prison is worth it. Which I am guessing is not what it was supposed to look like at all. At times you struggle to understand Edgerton as he mumbles and left with a question mark how Negga is nominated. She doesn’t really show much emotion in the film, just sadness.

I mean the film jumps ahead many years very quickly as we see the family expand, at one point all three children looked the same age which certainly added some confusion. It was just for a scene or two but still surely they could have made sure the age differences were still apparent. The worst thing is though is that I really did have high hopes for the film a romantic drama based on a real life story is certainly my ideal film. This was just wide of the mark for my liking, in a similar type of set up I much preferred A United Kingdom which hasn’t (for some reason) been mentioned for any awards, now that was a powerful film.

The story was key to changing the laws in the United States yet that is only briefly touched upon and mentioned. Surely that should have been a much bigger moment and deal for the film to really work? That is a personal opinion of course. I guess this is just another film that falls into the awards trap with a performance being nominated.

I am guessing that this film won’t be on at the cinema in the UK for very long as I just don’t think it has enough behind it to pull in the audiences. I guess I haven’t really said anything to help you go out and see it either. I just feel as though it could have been a made for TV film rather than a cinematic release. I am hoping that others who have already seen it agree with me? Or am I being extremely harsh?

A romantic drama with very little romance and obviously a huge drama but not actually on the screen, such a shame that this was much lower than the expectations I had for it!

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9 thoughts on “Loving (2016) Review

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  1. Hi Caz – I thought Loving was great, and the clue was in the title! As I said in my own review, this wasn’t about the court case, or the change in the law, this was about two ordinary people and how their love for each other and their reliance on each other helped get them through everything. I think that it’s rare for a movie to portray a couple’s love for each other so effectively and without all the usual fanfare and grand romantic gestures. And I thought both Edgerton and Negga gave thoughtful, genuine performances – if you get a chance to see The Loving Story (2011), you’ll see why. But… having said all that… I do understand where you’re coming from. Even as I was watching it I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, and judging by some people’s reactions to it, I wasn’t too far off the mark!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I always like to hear the opinions of someone who felt the total opposite to what I did when watching a film. The way you have described it is certainly how I wanted to feel when watching this one. I think I was more disappointed than anything else as it just moved so slowly without a lot of well passion. Thanks for your explanation and I will be checking out your review (don’t read them before watching a film).

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  2. Hi there. I really loved this movie. I would go as far as to say it is one of the best films I have seen in a while. What I loved most was the execution. It is not meant to be about racial discrimination or the subsequent court case: that stuff is going on in the background while the focus is on the couple. And yet, it is a film about civil rights. For me it is a perfect example of what is meant by ‘less is more’ in that the quiet, subtle and understated style revealed so much. For example, I imagine that this couple knew each other since they were tiny tots and that (in the same way their children are shown playing in the garden with the local kids) they played together as children. I imagine that they felt a strong connection to each other from those early years and that this developed and blossomed into love as they grew up. This explains the general acceptance of their relationship by those close to them (in those days one would expect some opposition at least from from their parents). I imagine Richard and Mildred never even noticed the difference in the color of their skin until people around them pointed it out to them.

    As well as it being their name, Loving is an apt title because it sums up their story perfectly. Although ultimately it is a love story, I do not agree that it is a romance, in that it does not follow the basic characteristics of romantic fiction (nor is it trying to). I wonder if the problem is that it is being marketed as a romance, and so people who go expecting a romance are disappointed. I understand why it has been marketed this way – fewer people would be interested in seeing a “bio-pic about a bi-racial couple who defy the state they are from by disregarding the segregation law imposed on them”. Let’s not forget that these were real people and perhaps it would have been wrong to fictionalize and romanticize a story about them for the entertainment of others, rather than simply tell their story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Saw this last night! I didnt know the story at all before hand. I always thought that they were on the cusp of separating from eachother. I know that not all relationships are passionate, but seemed like there was none at all. The real Mildred said she missed Richard right up until her death. I couldnt see that this would be the case having watched the film. I dont think we learned a great deal about them as people There wasnt a great deal of build up to their meeting or in their married life. It didnt quite work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased you feel the same about it! As if you see the other comments a little bit of backlash from others who loved it. Yeah I just felt that it looked like they were going to just give up and leave each other because it wasn’t worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I liked the fact that they werent over tge top, but a great injustice was done to them so there had to be some spark It woupd have been nice to see how their love developed too.

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