Gorgeous, just gorgeous. A near perfect film. Following an interracial couple through their courtship and marriage, then subsequent arrest and court battle that ultimately led to the 1967 Supreme Court decision overturning states’ interracial marriage bans, Loving could be huge, sweeping, and dramatic. But it is not. It is small in the best possible way and deeply intimate without ever being intrusive or exposing. Joel Edgerton turns in a masterful performance that is simply breathtaking in its restraint. Ruth Negga’s portrayal of Mildred Loving is flawless. Both actors convey their love for each other and the weight of the circumstances almost exclusively through subtle expressions, soulful stares, and a soft touch. Instead of making this story about an otherworldly and heroic fight by civil rights heroes, the understated nature of the film makes it contemporary. A real world story of love trumping hate and ignorance, it is a reminder that unjust laws are not theoretical, but affecting real people experiencing real pain in real time. There is no more timely message for our world today.

(Laemmle Music Hall)