In April 1967, the United States Supreme Court heard the case of Loving –vs- Virginia. Years earlier, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga) Loving had been arrested, tried and found guilty in the state of Virginia. Their crime? Falling in love.
Based on the true story of the couple whose case made it legal for people of different races to marry each other, “Loving” is propelled by the performances of the two leads. Even though their small group of family and friends seems to accept this odd couple of a white man and a black woman, there are still boundaries. While shopping in a black-owned shop with the pregnant Mildred, Richard gently rubs her stomach. What should be a beautiful moment is meant with a stern gaze from the shopkeeper. One night the police barge into the Loving’s house, catching the couple in bed sleeping. Despite their marriage license, they are taken to jail where Richard is allowed to make bail. He is told that not only can he not bail his wife out but she must wait for the judge to come by in a few days. A deal is made in which the judge, who tells them they are breaking God’s law, agrees not to send them to prison if they leave the state of Virginia. How high is the price of love?
While the film strikes many emotional chords, I was left with more questions than answers. When we first meet Richard and Mildred their relationship has already been established. But what about their early days? How did they meet? How in the hell did they date? Were the nice people we see around them always so supportive? Sure we care about the Lovings and support their fight. But it would have been nice to be there when the battle began.