CANNES: ‘Loving’ by Jeff Nichols Plants Itself for an Oscar Run with Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in Tow

The Cannes Film Festival continues to march on into our unofficial look into the fall awards season with Jeff Nichols’ highly anticipated project “Loving” with Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.  Reviews have been trickling in and the terms “understated” and “subtle” seem to be a theme but there seems to be universal praise for Negga, who will compete in a Best Actress race that will see the likes of Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Annette Bening, and Jessica Chastain, all with projects this year.  That doesn’t count the other contenders we’re not even thinking of yet.

Co-star Michael Shannon is said to have a smaller, cameo role so he’ll be moving out of our Supporting Actor predictions in the next update while we will keep a close eye on the film scoring multiple nominations below the line including Costumes, Editing, and perhaps Score.

Check out snippets of reviews that have dropped below, along with some Twitter reactions.

Jessica Kiang of The Playlist praises Negga:

And Negga’s Mildred is simply mesmerizing — she can make your breath catch with the subtlest of gestures. Early on, Richard brings her to a field near her childhood home, and asks her what she thinks of it. She is nonplussed and a little dismissive, but after he tells her he has bought it, and proposes, there’s this extraordinary moment when she looks around again at the undistinguished scrub of this little acre of land, and you see her fall in love with it.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter loves Edgerton and Negga says:

All the same, Edgarton impressively pinpoints the man’s rock-solid moral principles and personal virtues; there’s not a moment when he waivers in his love and support for his wife and family, even when others suggest his taking the easy way out. Playing a warmer and more accessible person, Negga keeps drawing you in as she delivers a lovely performance that will put the London-based Irish-Ethiopian stage actress, who had a small role in 12 Years A Slave,decisively on the map.

McCarthy also mentions the film’s shortcomings:

Where the film comes up short to some degree is in the depth of its depiction of the Lovings’ relationship, which is clearly very strong but lacks nuance and articulation, their family (more kids just keep popping up without being mentioned) and network of friends. Richard remains mostly taciturn and internalized even with Mildred and, notwithstanding that he was a man of few words, a few more would have been helpful to give him more dimension.

Rory O’Connor of the Film Stage is very positive with a ‘B+’ rating:

Granted, Nichols plays the familiar hits here but also proves himself to be adept at knowing when to hold back, with regular composer David Wingo only seldom relying on the minor chords. The results are an undeniably moving and also very fitting tribute to a couple who appear to have appreciated their privacy. There are no final arguments to the jury to be seen, no overly abusive police officer, no bricks through the window at night (although a stationary cinder block is used to similar effect). Nichols simply lets the injustice do the talking.

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TWITTER REACTIONS


Loving” will be distributed by Focus Features and is due in theaters November 1.
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About Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He's also an active member of New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association.Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include the New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Phillip Milner

    I’d sit down and watch a pie bake if Nichols’ name was attached to it.

  • Luke McGowan

    Called it months ago.