Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Loving,' story of landmark case

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Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon has the latest details.

The story of a groundbreaking Supreme Court case is coming to theaters this weekend, but is the Oscar buzz surrounding "Loving" justified?

It's the story of the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple who was told their marriage wasn't legal because one was white and the other was black.

The question was simple enough, and so was the answer, but the couple would have to endure much before they were finally allowed to live in peace as husband and wife.

The year was 1958, and in the state of Virginiam, mixed-race marriages were illegal. The Lovings were thrown in jail, Richard for just a day. But Mildred was held for five days even though she was pregnant at the time.

"Her only crime was being married to a white man," said actress Ruth Negga, for whom the story hits close to home. "As a mixed race person myself -- my mother is white and my father black -- for obvious reasons, it resonated with me. This is my story, you know? Not my story personally, but the story of people like me."

Negga was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Ireland. Joel Edgerton, who plays her husband, is Australian. Yet, they manage to embody this uniquely American couple.

"They really were equals in this relationship," Negga said. "They really respected one another wholly."

Banished from their home and forced to live outside Virginia, the Lovings fought to legalize their marriage for nine years until it reached the highest court in the land.

The ruling went in their favor and declared laws preventing such marriages unconstitutional.

In many ways, the Lovings were quiet heroes, and that makes the movie about them especially difficult because so much has to be conveyed on the faces of the stars. They and director Jeff Nichols manage to avoid melodrama while restoring this brave couple to their proper place in history.

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