Within what many would call the historical drama of the year, star actors Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga adopt the roles of Richard and Mildred Loving in John Nichols’s Loving, the modern retelling of the Lovings’ true story.
The movie’s plot works to stay true to history, focusing on the young Virginian Richard Loving and the development of his love for Mildred Jeter. When the two decide indeed to marry, they are met with the law, particularly manifested in the anti-miscegenation laws found under the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Interracial marriage in the state of Virginia was illegal.
And they knew it.
And yet even still, an act of such love in the face of such adversity speaks not only to the character and commitment of the Lovings, but it also to the essence of America itself. Their story is an endearing one that is no stranger to adaptations, be it in the form of a book or a documentary or even a movie. Nicholas himself draws carefully from the documentary, carefully crafting a story of his making at the expense of glossing over other facts. The movie spends far more time with the Lovings in their life outside of the courtroom than in it, for thematic purposes no doubt.
But it is that very normality of the Lovings that serves as the core of the story. Such ordinary love amidst what many saw as an unholy union points to something that is anything but common.
We ordinary humans could learn a thing or do.
Loving was released in the United States on November 4, 2016.