Blu-ray Review: Loving on Loving Day

Today is Loving Day.

50 years ago today, Richard and Mildred Loving paved the way for interracial marriages with the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia. The couple made civil rights history with the win, a unanimous court ruling making bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

It has only been 50 years since this Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage in the United States of America. That is not a long time, as evidence by the long way that society still has to go in the way that it treats multicultural families. But this win was a huge progress and it changed so, so much. So in honor of today, I’d love to share my review of Loving, which released on blu-ray & DVD earlier this year.

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

In 1958, in the state of Virginia, the idea of interracial marriage was not only considered to be immoral to many, it was also illegal. When Richard (Joel Edgerton, Black Mass) and Mildred (Ruth Negga, World War Z) fall in love, they are aware of the eyes staring at them and the words said behind their backs. It is when they get married, however, that words and looks become actions, and the two are arrested. The couple decide to take their case all of the way to the Supreme Court in order to fight for their love in this passionate and gripping drama that critics are calling “a masterpiece.” – Jason Gorber, ScreenAnarchy.com

***

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton were absolutely captivating as Mildred and Richard Loving. And the story that is told here is so respectful of what actually happened. This should definitely be shown in schools so that young people can be educated on the ugliness of systematic racism and understand how love prevails.

The movie paces itself quietly and perfectly, and balances itself wonderfully in tone. A standout moment early on is when Richard builds a house for Mildred, for them, for their family. These are such precious, beautiful moments that weave in and out and as more tense scenes follow. Like that of local sheriffs bursting into their home in the middle of the night to arrest them because their marriage wasn’t legal in Virginia…the level of hatred that you have to have to do that is just….

While the couple wed in the District of Columbia, the marriage was not recognized in Virginia, thus the two were sentenced to jail time unless they left the state of Virginia for 25 years. My emotions were all over the place watching this movie, mainly being split between enraged by racism and absolutely heartbroken for all that Mildred and Richard had to endure to love each other openly and attempt to be treated the same, at the very least, in the eyes of the law.

On the day Mildred gives birth to one of their children, Richard tells Mildred to call a lawyer as two police cars pull up. No one should have to deal with this, let alone on the day new life is brought into the world. Oh man, this story, like so many stories dealing with racism in this country, is absolutely maddening. That said, it was refreshing to watch a movie about a historical moment in history dealing with racism and it wasn’t loud but instead often silent and really intimate and it still got its message across wonderfully.

This movie is not easy to watch but it is absolutely pitch perfect and a must see for everyone, especially this year, the 50th anniversary of Loving v Virginia. A reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Loving is simple and yet so emotionally complex. It’s so poignant. And the release of this movie on blu-ray and DVD is right on time. There is no better time than now to watch their story, share their spirit and humanity, and be reminded of the never ending fight for love in this country and the battles that keep the fire burning.

Bonus Features:
Commentary – The commentary is conducted by director, Jeff Nichols and if you were moved by the movie, definitely, definitely take the time out to settle in with the commentary because there’s plenty that Nichols has to share about not just the behind the scenes of making this but how the real life story and the setting affected the storytelling.

Making Loving (Approx. 5 minutes) – In this short bonus feature, the cast and crew discuss the film and what it means to them. If you’ve seen them on the promo trail, then you’ve heard this all before but it’s great to see it captured on the blu-ray.

Appearing in this Feature:
Writer/Director, Jeff Nichols
Producers, Colin Firth, Peter Saraf, Sarah Green, Ged Doherty, Nancy Buirski, Marc Turtletaub
Costume Designer, Erin Benach
Cast Members, Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Terri Abney, Jon Bass

A Loving Ensemble (Approx. 5 minutes) – It’s always fun to hear what the director thought of the actors, leading to them being cast in their films so this feature, while short, is one to watch.

Appearing in this Feature:
Writer/Director, Jeff Nichols
Producers, Ged Doherty,Sarah Green, Colin Firth
Cast Members, Ruth Negga, Terri Abney, Joel Edgerton, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon

Loving v. Virginia (Approx. 5 minutes) – This is basically the Spark Notes version of the case as told by the cast and crew of the Loving movie. So you can skip it if you’ve seen the movie already.

Appearing in this Feature:
Writer/Director, Jeff Nichols
Producers, Sarah Green, Nancy Buirski, Ged Doherty
Interracial Couples Celebrating Loving Day
Cast Members, Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Jon Bass, Terri Abney, Marton Csokas

Virginia: A Loving Backdrop (Approx. 3 minutes) – This is an all too brief account of the locations that the film shot at, which included many of the real locations that Mildred and Richard stepped foot on.

Appearing in this Feature:
Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe
Writer/Director, Jeff Nichols
Associate Producer, Oge Egbuonu
Key Assistant Location Manager, Lori Russell
Cast Members, Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick Kroll, Terri Abney

Own Loving on Blu-ray and DVD today.

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