It's hard to believe, but the Golden Globes (the official start of awards season) are less than two months away. On Sunday, January 8, 2017 Jimmy Fallon will host and the exceptionally talented Meryl Streep will receive the Cecil B. deMille Award. Mark your calendars!
Knowing that awards season is fast approaching, it's time to start seeing some of the most buzzed about films.
This past weekend I went with a friend to see Loving. This movie is based on the true story of Virginia couple Richard and Mildred Loving who were prosecuted for interracial marriage. In order to avoid jail time, they were ordered to leave the state for 25 years. They were not allowed to return to Virgnia at the same time - ever. This required them to move to Washington D.C., away from both of their families, and begin their own family in an unfamiliar community.
Joel Edgerton plays Richard, a quiet, smalltown guy who wants nothing more than to provide for his wife. You may recognize Edgerton from Zero Dark Thiry, The Great Gatsby or Black Mass. In this role he is strong and silent. He often says more with a glance or furrowed brow than he does with any dialogue.
Mildred Loving is brought to life by Ruth Negga, who is already receiving Oscar buzz. Ruth is heartbroken to be ripped away from her family, especially because she is expecting her first child at the time of their sentencing.
As Mildred and Richard go on to have three children, it becomes more and more difficult to accept the terms of their probation. Mildred's friend encourages her to write to Bobby Kennedy, which changes everything.
With one phone call from the ACLU, the Lovings find themselves on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality between people of all races. Nick Kroll plays their inexperienced, but highly motivated, ACLU attorney.
I don't want to give away any other particulars of the movie because you really should see it. The film clocks in at 123 minutes (just over two hours) but it feels like four. The pain of the Lovings reality weighs on you the entire movie.
The final 60 seconds of the film have text scrolling over a still photo of the Loving family. At one point, the copy reads "The Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting marriage between interracial couples is unconstitutional. Marriage is an inherent right." Though I felt emotional the entire movie, when I read those words, given the beliefs of our new president-elect, I welled with tears. To think that this ruling could in some way be overturned in the next four years gutted me.
I urge you to see Loving and to be reminded me of all the rights we've fought for that need to continue to be protected.
*All images courtesy of Focus Features.