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Stars: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll, Bill Camp

Director: Jeff Nichols

A very slow but nonetheless affecting account of the trials of a mixed marriage in the American south of 1958.

Mechanic Richard Loving (Edgerton), a former drag-racing ace, has fallen for a light-skinned 'coloured' girl, Mildred (Negga). She's already pregnant when they scurry over the state line to marry. But their state of wedlock is illegal in Virginia and the law soon pounces on the hapless couple. Dragged before a judge, they are given the alternative of a year's jail or quitting the state and going elsewhere to live. They leave.

But Mildred, soon with two more children, is not happy away from the countryside and they risk a return to their native state.

It's the beginning of a long legal wrangle that culminates in taking their case to the supreme court in an attempt to change the law.

Why they chose an Australian and a Brit to play two people from the American south is one of the conundrums of modern cinema. As it is, Edgerton plays his role too much on one note. Negga is rather better, but the dialogue of both leading players is often difficult to make out (everyone else is fine).

On the whole, despite moving moments, this important and history-making subject is given less than its just desserts.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by deluxe.
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 10 Jun 2017

DVD review