March 13, 2017/
Release Date: March 16th
Nominated for two Golden Globes and an Academy Award, LOVING celebrates the courageous true story of Richard and Milred Loving, an interracial couple who’s unintentionally defiant marriage was chastised in the late 50’s, before catalyzing the reformation of the right to marry in 1967.
Growing up in small-town Virginia, Richard proposes to Mildred, dreaming of a life with their new family, enjoying the simple pleasures of their hometown. Yet it was the state of Virginia where they were first jailed, before being banished for defying the states interracial marriage laws. Forced to Washington D.C. and realizing the urban life wasn’t for them, Mildred is spurred on to find a way back, and their civil rights case, ‘Loving vs. Virginia’, is born.
Despite having a clear link to our modern marriage equality debate, LOVING is less about the laws’ integration with love, and more about how we define love, and its boundaries. Richard and Mildred aren’t seeking to become activists – Richard’s reserved and camera shy, simply wanting to tell the court “I love my wife” – but he’s challenged by a political injustice that says the colour of our skin should define the parameters of our love. Motivated by the comfort of his wife more so that social reform, Richard backs Mildred’s fight, protecting his family and standing his ground.
The best thing about LOVING is that it isn’t a loud ‘statement film’. It remembers while we go to movies to learn about life and stories that aren’t our own, we also go just to be entertained and inspired. It nails a blend of quiet strength and subtly, letting the performances speak for themselves, without too much script and commentary. Ruth Negga absorbs the audience as Mildred, and had it not been La La Land’s year, would certainly have been a hot contender for Best Actress at the Oscars.
We may be far from reaching a consensus on marriage equality, but about love, we can know that God is Love. That love is patient, it’s kind. It does not envy, boast or be proud. It does not dishnour others, it’s not self-seeking, or easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. And love, it never fails.
High point: Mildred’s tenacious toward reforming the law
Low point: Witnessing the personal cost of injustice
Best digested with: Southern style chicken and cold Ale.
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