by Max Brantley
This is Nichols’s fourth film (after Take Shelter, Mud, and Midnight Special); its subject matter is also the most socially and politically relevant material he’s tackled to date. And, somewhat surprisingly, the usually mild-mannered filmmaker had a lot to say about that during Loving’s official Cannes press conference.
"It seemed to me the best way to get to the heart of all of this is to just talk about all these people," Nichols said. "I think when we talk about social [issues] like race and marriage equality we tend to just join our platform thinking. You're conservative. You're liberal. You go to your corners and we're going to spar based on these political ideas that are just ideas. They are not attached to anything specific."
He continued: "So, we can talk about bathroom laws and all of this ridiculousness because it's not attached to people, it's just these political ideas. And I think that's a waste of time. I think what people forget when they are so heated in their debates are the people at the center of these things. And when I looked at the story it seemed very, very obvious to me that we needed to just talk about the people."