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2016 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 6: Jeff Nichols Has No Fear with “Loving”

We’ve been in full admiration of this American indie filmmaker ever since he broke out with Shotgun Stories (Berlin Film Fest) in 2007, and confirmed his prowess in 2011’s Take Shelter (Sundance & Cannes Film Fest Critics’ Week) in 2011. Following his 2012 in comp showing for Mud, his second comp film at the festival comes off the heals of his first studio film in Midnight Special (Berlin Film Fest). Loving is Jeff Nichols‘ fifth feature film outing in less than a decade and while Michael Shannon makes it five for five, this item, which is based in part on the Nancy Buirski’s documentary “The Loving Story” is toplined by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. So far, the film has received a cozy reception from critics on the Croisette with an average of three outta five star ratings.

While there is apparently plenty to admire in the perfs, calm director’s hand and dp Adam Stones’ work, Variety’s Peter Debruge points to this film being “too damn polite,” while’s Eric Kohn remarks that the “light touch at times makes it difficult to engage with the stakes at hand, and Nichols’ reverence for his couple’s deep bond is practically so sacred he seems resistant to show any of their flaws.” There might be some Oscar bait in the film, but it’ll need some gold dust from the Croisette for the eventual November release.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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