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'Loving' is a nuanced and powerful portrait of marriage equality

Rating: ★★★★★

Based on a true story, "Loving" is a film that chronicles the personal struggle for one interracial couple as they fight against the laws of Virginia to prove their love for each other is as natural as any other couple. It doesn't seem a coincidence that this couple's last name is Loving.

Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) are like many young couples. Their desires are simple: marry, have children and live near their families. But when the police in their hometown in Virginia find out that the couple married in Washington, D.C. they arrest the pair in the middle of the night. Upon legal advise from their attorney, the Lovings pled guilty to a crime that is unthinkable today. The judge suspended their sentence upon one agreement: that the couple leave Virginia immediately and never return together.

The couple is re-arrested just a few months later when they return to Virginia to have their families witness the birth of their first child. They are given one more chance to leave Virginia, which they do.

Living in Washington, D.C., Mildred yearns to raise her children in the country of Virginia and leave the city behind her. Her one brave act was to write the Attorney General of the United State - Bobby Kennedy. The Lovings were given an ACLU attorney after the fateful letter, and the battle to rewrite all inequality marriage laws in the United States was on its way.

"Loving," is a sensitive portrait of what makes a family and that the love that bonded this young couple together would eventually allow people of any race to freely marry in the United States.

The lead actors Joel Edgerton ("Black Mass") and Ruth Negga (TV series "Preacher") both give strong performances. They portray people that are strong, yet quiet. Their roles are subtle, which makes for a very powerful film.

"Loving," was written and directed by 38 year-old filmmaker Jeff Nichols ("Mud"). The script, the foundation of the film, is quite solid and proves that Nichols is improving upon each film he writes. His direction is also direct and careful, which helps this poignant story of love shine brightly.

Another high point to "Loving," is the cinematography by Adam Stone. Nichols and Stone have collaborated on several films together and "Loving" a truly a beautiful film to watch and stands out for its spectacular photography.

Ruth Negga is already being honored by the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala for Best Newcomer and it's not hard to predict "Loving," will find more honors during award season.

"Loving" is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and has a run-time of two hours and three minutes.

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