Loving

Synopsis: Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia.
Production: Big Beach Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 83 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
79
Rotten Tomatoes:
90%
PG-13
Year:
2016
123 min
$7,696,098
Website
1,870 Views


1

EXT. SMALL FARMHOUSE - NIGHT 1

Crickets. A spring night in rural Virginia.

MILDRED(18) seems nervous. Her eyes cast down. She’s

beautiful. A slender, light skinned black woman. High

cheekbones hint at a mix of Native American ancestry.

She picks her head up and takes a deep breath. Her big brown

eyes are soft in the light of the front porch.

MILDRED:

I’m pregnant.

RICHARD(24) listens. He’s a white man with close cropped

blonde hair and a dark neck burned from working outside.

He takes in the information.

A smile breaks across his face, revealing a mouth full of

crooked teeth. He quickly draws his lips over them,

swallowing the smile. He’s shy, self-conscious of the teeth.

He begins to nod, a more reserved smile coming through.

RICHARD:

Good. That’s real good.

At this, Mildred’s shoulders drop with relief.

They sit close to one another on the front steps of a one-

story wood planked house.

It’s 1958. They are young, but a rural working life makes

them seem older than their years.

Richard takes her hand. She leans into him.

An ominous SOUND grows in the distance. A rumbling like

thunder. It builds.

2

EXT. DRAG RACING STRIP - DAY 2

The chassis on an early 50’s Chevy rocks back and forth as

gas charges through the idling motor.

VIRGIL(25) continues to rev the car as he steals a glance at

his competition, another bulked up American machine primed to

explode off the starting line.

Virgil is a mustached black man with thick eyebrows. He

wears a bowler hat and clinches a toothpick in his teeth. He

catches the OTHER DRIVER’s eye, a white man. Virgil smiles.

2.

A Man snaps a rag into the air.

Tires smoke. Rubber streaks the asphalt as the cars light

out down the strip.

Richard pops off the hood of a parked car and tracks the

race. He’s part of a GROUP gathered on the dirt swath that

borders the track.

Mildred is with her sister GARNET(20), a woman of similar

features and beauty. The Group of seven is made up of blacks

and whites. Most hold cans of beer. All follow the race.

The two cars race neck and neck, their chrome bumpers

straining for the lead. Virgil’s car manages to pull ahead.

Standing by Richard are RAYMOND(20), a thick-necked black man

who is easy to smile when not sweating a race, and PERCY(25),

a tall man who watches more than he talks. At Virgil’s car

taking the lead, Raymond’s hand comes up.

RAYMOND:

There goes.

The other Driver leans into the wheel as if to aid his

chances, but it doesn’t help.

Virgil manages a car length lead as he tears across the

finish line. He yells and punches at the roof.

Richard’s arm flies up, but he’s silent. Raymond lets out a

whooping sound before swinging out his massive palm which

Richard meets with a slap. The Group cheers behind them.

Richard walks back to Mildred, but on his way...

RICHARD:

Timing’s still off ‘bout two

degrees.

RAYMOND:

Looked fine to me.

(to Percy)

What you think?

PERCY:

I think we won.

Mildred runs up and gives Richard a big hug.

3.

3 EXT. DRAG RACING STRIP - DAY - LATER 3

Virgil and Percy stand in front of the other Driver and his

CREW, all white, as the Driver counts a stack of cash out and

places it in Virgil’s outstretched bowler hat.

VIRGIL:

Now that’s just fine right there, I

told them ‘bout ya’ll that you boys

have ya’ll’s, yes keep on now, you

boys have a fast car right there

but ya’ll is fine to let us race

wit you.

Virgil’s words come out in a jumble, making their meaning

nearly imperceptible though their intention is clear.

The money counted, Virgil sets the cash filled hat on his

head and nods at the other Driver. He cuts a smile at Percy

before they turn back to join their own group.

The disgruntled men rest against their beaten car. Their

attention is not on Virgil’s collection, but rather on

Richard and Mildred across the track.

Richard holds Mildred close, kissing her proudly. The Crew

just stares across at them, visibly seething.

A4 EXT. SHOTGUN SHACK - NIGHT A4

A hillbilly house party in full swing.

A few cars come and go, but most are parked in an array

around the yard. People spill out of the tiny house.

4 INT. SHOTGUN SHACK - NIGHT 4

The shack is brimming with bodies, thick smoke and booze.

Laughter and shouts fill in amidst fast paced fiddles, banjo

and upright bass pounding out a bluegrass stomp.

The crowd is mostly black, though a few whites are mingled

throughout. Many look to be Native American.

Richard, his arm around Mildred, clutches a beer and

struggles to shout his point into Raymond’s ear. An

inaudible reply from Raymond brings a red faced gut laugh

from Richard. Percy looks over to see what was so funny.

Virgil bumps through the crowd half dancing while carefully

balancing his jar of clear liquor. He bows the drink to

Mildred, but Garnet’s hand swoops in to take it.

4.

Garnet wags a finger before taking an eyebrow raising sip at

the stout stuff. She eyes Mildred, who smiles back at her.

Virgil pulls Garnet up to dance not forgetting to reclaim his

drink. He proceeds to dance in a way that spreads the crowd.

Mildred nudges Richard.

They laugh watching their friends dance, happy in this place.

5 EXT. BUILDING SITE - DAY 5

Mortar is thrown onto a brick and buttered with a jointer

before another brick comes down on top. It’s a rhythmic

task, done with precision.

Richard stands in front of a growing wall amongst several

OTHER MEN laying brick at a bustling job site.

BRICKLAYER:

Damn Richard. Slow down.

Richard smiles to himself. He finishes out his course of

bricks and quickly gathers his tools. Walking away...

RICHARD:

All right now.

BRICKLAYER:

Where you goin’?

Richard doesn’t answer. He moves toward a collection of cars

parked nearby.

6 EXT. UNCULTIVATED FIELD - LATE AFTERNOON 6

A light breeze moves through full summer leaves shading a

hillside. Grass bends in a low-lying field down below.

Richard’s feet move heel to toe, counting out a length.

Still in his work clothes, he pauses and stares out at the

field down below before finally turning to Mildred.

Time has passed since seeing her last. A growing belly shows

six months of her pregnancy. She watches him curiously.

RICHARD:

Do you like it?

MILDRED:

Like what?

5.

RICHARD:

Right here. This spot.

MILDRED:

You mean this field?

RICHARD:

Yeah.

MILDRED:

This field not a mile from my house

that I’ve been knowin’ all my life?

RICHARD:

Yeah.

She c*cks her head at him, puzzled by this.

MILDRED:

Yes. I like it.

Richard breaks away and faces the lower field again.

RICHARD:

I’d put the kitchen back here.

MILDRED:

Richard stop this. I don’t know

what you’re sayin’.

RICHARD:

I bought it. This whole acre. I’m

gonna build you a house right here.

Our house.

Mildred is speechless. Her eyes wander over the ground as if

seeing it for the first time. She barely notices Richard

move close, taking her hand.

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Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols is an American film director and screenwriter from Little Rock, Arkansas. He studied filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Nichols has directed Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud and Midnight Special. more…

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