Richard and Mildred Loving were both sent to prison in 1958. Their crime? Being married to each other. So what was such a big deal about their marriage that it merited a prison sentence? Simple: Richard was white, and Mildred was black. The Loving’s case has gone down in history as one of the most monumental Supreme Court cases in recent American history, on par with desegregation, abortion in the first two trimesters, and mandatory health insurance. Their arrest, subsequent imprisonment, unyielding devotion to each other, and their taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court is now the subject of a new drama titled Loving. The story of the Lovings was originally brought back to the spotlight with writer/director Jeff Nichols‘ 2011 HBO documentary The Loving Story, which the filmmaker has now adapted into a full length feature.
The Lovings were married in Virginia in a time where interracial marriage was still against the law. Wanting to remain together and in their native State, however, the couple went ahead with their marriage and were subsequently arrested and, in the end, ordered never to set foot together again. Mildred was forced to move to Washington D.C., but eventually her desire to reunite with her family drove her to petition U.S. Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, who passed it on to the ACLU and convinced the reluctant couple to take the case to the Supreme Court. Actors Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings, Black Mass) and Ruth Negga (The Samaritan, World War Z)’s performances have received excellent reviews from critics. Supporting actor Nick Kroll (The League, Kroll Show)’s performance has also drawn great reviews, which says something for Kroll considering he is much better known for his comedic acting and writing. All in all, the acting, writing, and overall inspiring themes of Loving make this movie a film for the times. If you get a chance, definitely consider seeing this one while its on the big screen.