How is this film not the lead contender for best picture? Not only is it a true story, but it is such an important story in the history of civil rights in this country. And it is so well done, with such good acting. Not the best film I have ever seen, but certainly one of, if not the, best film of the year. I loved this film, and it is an absolute must see. Great from start to finish. It is unbelievable that this did not get nominated for best picture from though at least Ruth Negga got a nomination.
In Caroline County, Virginia in 1958, Interacial Marriage is illegal under anti-miscegenation laws. Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) is a white brick layer who is love with the black woman Mildred Jetter (Ruth Negga). Richard buys an acre a mile from Mildred’s families house and asks her to marry him. They go with her father to Washington D.C. and get married. They return to Virginia and hang their marriage certificate over their bed. Later when Mildred is pregnant someone tips off the police, and Sheriff Brooks (Martin Csokas) breaks into her parents house and arrests them. Richard is released in bail, but they refuse to let him bail out Mildred. They get a lawyer, and he has them plead guilty, amd they are given suspended prison sentances, on condition that they not return to Virginia together for 25 years.
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS…
They move to Washington, D.C. and in with Mildred’s friends, but hate the city and it’s lack of green. And Mildred wants to have her baby at home, so they return so Richard’s mother, a midwife can deliver the child. The police return and arrest them, though their lawyer helps them get off.
Mildred and Richard have two more children, but Mildred is so unhappy in the city. She watches the March on Washington, and decides to write to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy refers the case to the American Civil Liberties Union. Lawyer Bernard S. Cohen (Nick Kroll) talks to them and says they will take the case for free. Initially he wants to get them re-arrested so they can retry the case, and get it to the supreme court, but Richard refuses. So along with constitutional law expert Phil Hirchkop (Jon Bass), they begin work on loses the case so they can appeal it up and up, to hopefully get it to the Supreme Court.
After one of their children is hit by a car, the Lovings sneak back into Virginia in a remote area as their case is working it’s way through the courts. The cases get wide attention, and they are profiled by Life Magazine.
The State Supreme Court refuses to set aside their conviction, as they claim that races were not meant to live together and go so far as to call the Loving children bastards. So they appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Richard refuses to go, so Mildred doesn’t go either, but Richard gives them the message, “Tell them that I love my wife.”
The Supreme Court hears the case and unanimously holds that all laws prohibiting interacial marriage are unconstitutional. The Lovings move back to Caroline County and Rochard starts building them their house. We see on cards that Richard was killed by a drunk driver 7 years later, and Mildred continued to live in the house until her death in 2008, saying she missed her husband.
Wow, what a great film! Great performances and an amazing story. Really worth seeing. This should have been best picture, but wasn’t even nominated.