“Loving” announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer

Last week, we got two big Oscar friendly Trailers. The one I’m going to be talking about today is Loving, coming to us from filmmaker Jeff Nichols. He’s a writer/director who has been growing in stature the last few years, though this is his first overt play at awards. From the look of Loving, it’s a true life civil rights drama/biopic that should have real appeal across the board, and undoubtedly will be of interest to the Academy and its voters. Reviews were very strong out of the Cannes Film Festival and this Trailer debut was excellent as well. You’ll see it below, but first…let’s discuss it a bit.

The film is a biopic of the Loving family, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga). An interracial couple living in the south in the 1950’s, they run into even more bigotry when they decide to get married. Virginia law in 1958 makes that illegal, resulting in jail time for them. The Lovings don’t take this insult to their union lying down though, and eventually their case is before the Supreme Court of the United States. Nichols writes and directs, with the cast, besides Edgerton and Negga, including Bill Camp, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, and more. Cinematography is by Adam Stone and the score is done by David Wingo, both longtime Nichols collaborators. From the looks of the Trailer, everyone is more than pulling their weight. It appears moving and powerful without being overtly manipulative. That’s certainly a promising start to an awards campaign.

joel edgerton hfa 2015
Frankly, this sort of baity biopic could easily come off preachy and potentially even a bit tone deaf if not handled with the correct firmness. Nichols though, seems to have the right approach for the material, never going for the big emotion, but just playing this indignation matter of factly. Edgerton and Negga look really great, with Edgerton quietly breaking your heart, the cinematography looks supple, and Nichols could very well have his biggest hit to date here. Between Take Shelter, Mud, and earlier this year’s Midnight Special, he’s been building a larger and larger following, so Loving may just hit the mainstream, along with potentially the Oscar red carpet.

Awards wise, Loving has across the board potential. I’m very confident we’ll see a big Academy Award campaign, centered on Best Picture, Best Director (for Nichols), Best Actor (for Edgerton), Best Actress (for Negga), Best Supporting Actor (for Kroll or Shannon), Best Original Screenplay (for Nichols as well), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. The below the line categories all depend on how it does above the line, but right now you have to have it decently high up in your predictions for Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Original Screenplay. Edgerton and Negga seem like safe bets for heavy contention, while Nichols could certainly break through in one of those categories, getting him his first citation from the Academy.

Overall, this is definitely a major contender. Below you can see the Trailer for Loving and appreciate what I’ve seen, but trust me when I say that this won’t be the last you hear of this one. Focus Features currently has the film dated for November 4th, so there will be more festivals, in addition to the aforementioned Cannes, where buzz builds for it. I can’t wait, and if you’re a fan of strong awards friendly biopics, you shouldn’t be able to wait either. Take a look at the Trailer and sit tight, as we’ll be discussing the movie plenty more in the near future…

Here now is the Trailer for Loving:

Stay tuned for more on Loving in the weeks and months to come!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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