The 'Loving' Trailer Spotlights a Moment in U.S. History You Need to Know About

The 'Loving' Trailer Spotlights a Moment in U.S. History You Need to Know About

Jul 12, 2016

What a great year this is that we have two Jeff Nichols movies released in the span of 10 months. First was the criminally under-appreciated sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, and next up is the historical drama Loving. The latter already debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received mostly rave reviews.

Now there's a trailer, which you can see below. 

 

Now that you've watched the trailer, here are all the answers you may have about the true story it's based on:

Who were the Lovings?

Mildred and Richard Loving, who are portrayed by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton respectively, were an interracial couple (she was African-American, European and Native American descent; he was white) who got married in 1958. 

That was it? 

Well, interracial marriage was illegal in their state of Virginia back then. They had to drive up to Washington, D.C., to be officially wed. But unfortunately their union was still against the law back home.

What happened?

Thanks to an anonymous tip, within a month the police raided their home and charged them with "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." 

Did they go to jail? 

Richard spent the night in jail, but Mildred was pregnant and so avoided the cell. They pled guilty of the crime to avoid prison and were ordered to move out of the state. They relocated to D.C.

What is their historical significance?

After living in D.C. a few years, they'd had enough of the city and decided to go back to court and fight. Mildred wrote to Robert Kennedy and he recommended they team up with ACLU lawyers, including Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll in the movie) and Phil Hirschkop (Jon Bass). After four years and many losses, they finally wound up winning their battle in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967. The date, June 12, is now known as Loving Day.

What else should we know about the film?

Richard really did say the line that's in the trailer where he says to just tell the Supreme Court that his argument is that he loves his wife. Also, Michael Shannon has a minor role, seen briefly in the trailer, as photographer Grey Villet, who took famous pictures of the couple for a 1965 Life magazine spread. You can see some of those pictures here.

Has there ever been a movie about the Lovings before?  

There have been two, actually. There's 1996 Showtime movie Mr. and Mrs. Loving, in which the couple is played by Lela Rochon and Timothy Hutton, with Corey Parker as Cohen. Then there's the 2011 documentary The Loving Story, which was made by Nancy Buirski with never-used verite film footage shot in the 1960s by Direct Cinema legend Hope Ryden. The doc is highly recommended.

When do we get to see Loving

The movie hits theaters on November 4, just in time for the Oscar buzz to begin.

 

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