Loving reviews

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 6975
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: Loving reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:34 pm

Seconded. There's a thin line between humanism and leaden dignity. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga do what they can, but these aren't characters, and Jeff Nichols hasn't written a love story. I honestly don't know what excited him about this project. The film just crawls forward through history. I think it's a pretty perfect example about how "important stories" can result in irrelevant movies. It was likely better left as a documentary.

The most interesting potential plot-point was the inability of Nick Kroll's Bernard Cohen to engage with Richard and Mildred, two people for whom he is supposedly a champion but clearly knows nothing about. But it doesn't register because Kroll is just terrible.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 3920
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Loving reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:13 am

I'm in agreement with Okri on Loving -- well, maybe not that it makes Philomena look like Sam Fuller, but on the point that it isn't an especially exciting piece of work.

I keep hoping that Jeff Nichols will one day make a great movie. He's clearly a filmmaker who's thoughtful, who directs with sensitivity and patience, and who treads in emotion without dipping into sentiment, and I would say that all of those qualities are evident in Loving, which is mounted with tact and class, and feels genuine throughout. There are no cartoonish Southern racists here, no schmaltzy moments of uplift that feel phony, no creaky parallels to the politics surrounding marriage in America today. But I've always felt that Nichols's movies never had as strong material as they might have, and that's a significant issue here as well. This isn't to say that the story of the Lovings couldn't have made something more memorable, but what's on-screen feels like a very detached account of history, not something that was shaped by a writer with a point of view on historical events. (I don't think there's one memorable line of dialogue in the whole movie.) And I think even the director's mostly admirable sense of restraint undoes him by the end -- the climax at the Supreme Court feels a bit like "and then they won at the Supreme Court."

I think both leads are solid for what their roles require, but the Lovings were, by all accounts, very quiet people, and this doesn't necessarily give either actor the opportunity to show off a lot of fireworks. I guess if I were pitching ways to improve the movie, I'd say that it might have been more interesting for the movie to expand its focus a little bit -- you really don't get much sense of anything happening in the nation outside this one relationship -- so that the contrast between basically ordinary people just wanting to live their lives and the momentous historical moment they were caught up in might have been mined for more depth.


Return to “2016”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest