I really wanted to see this film because I love Jeff Nichols. I like his ability to develop characters and create a story that really questions identity. I wasn't sure if this film would be able to pull off the director's feel, because it is a historical biopic, but it worked very well.
The characters in the film were extremely well-written. They were well-rounded and likable, easily achieving audience sympathy. Even the smaller characters, like that played by Michael Shannon, that aren't necessarily as well-developed, serve their purpose and are pivotal to the plot development. Nichols did a very good job of making sure that every event affected the plot and message of the film as a whole. The film also worked in some great messages about independence and confidence in one's own identity.
The film was very well-made overall. The cinematography was great, with some extremely effective ways of capturing the actors. Many of the shots have the focus on the background until the actor comes in frame, with the background being used to foreshadow the coming emotion. It was brilliant. Nichols's ability to expertly build suspense was also used in this film in the moments that required it, keeping you on the edge of your seat, but his ability to craft amazing character development comes in to play during the romance. There is a good balance in the film, keeping it absorbing overall.
The acting in the film was also great. I feel like Joel Edgerton has a genuine shot at being recognized during awards season for his performance as Richard Loving. His performance was believable and emotional, hitting all of the right points. Ruth Negga complements Edgerton very well, adding more emotional complexity to the film, and also having a shot at some awards. The supporting cast as a whole was very good, with a potential SAG nomination for Best Ensemble Cast.
So overall, I really loved "Loving" (no pun intended). I had to travel a good while to see it, but it was worth it. I highly recommend it if you get the chance to see it, because it has a magnificent story and great acting, coupled with great directing.
Big Tuna's Rating: A
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.