ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – L – Loving (2016)

Director: Jeff Nichols

Writer: Jeff Nichols (Screenplay)

Starring: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton, Terri Abney, Alano Miller


Plot: The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision.

Tagline – All love is created equal.

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Important Drama


Story: Loving starts as we meet our interracial couple Mildred (Negga) and Richard (Edgerton) living in Virginia in the 1960s, the two start a family and get married, breaking the laws of the state. The couple are forced to leave the state or face prison time which turns out to be harder than they thought.

The couple look to fight against the ruling which is a battle which will go right up to the supreme court for one of the most important historic decisions.


Thoughts on Loving


Characters – Mildred is a black woman living in Virginia, she has a close family and is in love with Richard, she wants to be with him no matter what the law says and will lead the fight for them to be together in there home state. Richard is a white man, a builder for trade who is happily in love, he wants to be able to fight for their love even if the law prevents him. The other characters in this true story include the family members, the people against them and the lawyers that support them.

PerformancesRuth Negga was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, you can see why because she is fantastic, Joel Edgerton also shines in his role which does focus on him bottling in the troubles he is going through. The supporting cast doesn’t get as much time to shine, but they all do good when they are on screen, letting to two stars shine.

StoryThe story follows one of the biggest and most important cases in American law, the married couple that are threatened with jail for getting married if they stay in the Virginia. The story follows a decade of their life from the moment they got married to the moment they have their trial. It would be fair to say we could have seen some more of the cases taking place, but for what their story did for the law, the story is important.

Biopic/Romance This is the real story between Mildred and Richard, an interracial couple that were guilty of marrying when it was considered illegal. The romance shows us just how love can bring people together.

SettingsThe film shows us just where Virginia was during the 60s, though the settings not being overly important to the visual but more about the laws.

Scene of the Movie –
The photo shoot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the court case.

Final ThoughtsThis is an important story that shows us how the law in America needed to be changed, it showed us how naïve they were once and how this story helped show us one story that helped change it.


Overall: Important drama that shows how backwards America once was.




Matthew McConaughey Weekend – Mud (2012)

mudDirector: Jeff Nichols

Writer: Jeff Nichols (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon


Plot: Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: ABC Coming Of Age


Story: Mud starts when two teenagers Ellis (Sheridan) and Neckbone (Lofland) find a mysterious man hiding out in a wrecked boat in a tree. The man offers them a deal with them bringing him food as Mud (McConaughey) waiting for his lost love Juniper (Witherspoon) to meet him on this random island.

When the boys learn that Mud is in fact a wanted man they still decide to help once they hear his story as Ellis learns a valuable lesson about growing up as his parents want to move him to a new town away from his friends.

Mud is a coming of age movie that checks off all the essentials needed to be a great one, we get the boy who has to learn change before he is really ready for the change to happen. He learns from someone who shouldn’t be a role model but has a way of thinking that he could learn more from than his parents could ever teach him. The crime side to the story is fine but doesn’t hit the impact that the learning curve Ellis goes on really. It does have slow moments but in the end is one of the good coming of age tales out there.


Actor Review


Matthew McConaughey: Mud is an estranged man living in an abandoned boat when he befriends two teenage boys. We learn that he is wanted for murder and it is his love the Juniper which has caused all of his problems. Matthew is great and in a role that showed the beginning of the next step of his career.

Reese Witherspoon: Juniper is the reason why Mud has been waiting and is the reason for everything Mud has ever done. She comes off as the girl that leads a man astray. Reese is great in this supporting performance.

Tye Sheridan: Ellis is one of the two teenagers that find Mud and wants to help him. As he is helping Mud he learns life lessons on love which will help him in the future. Tye gives us a great early career performance.

Support Cast: Mud has a supporting cast filled with star names that all take a back seat to the main story being told.

Director Review: Jeff NicholsJeff gives us a good drama which has coming of age elements going on throughout the serious storyline.


Drama: Mud is a drama that really is a coming of age tale for Ellis who has to learn about love through the miss-adventures of Mud.

Settings: Mud keep everything looking like the small town these boys live in which shows how tough the families have it.
: Mud is one I think should be watch but I will say you need to be in the mood for a slow moving drama. (Watch)


Best Part: The performances from Matthew an Tye Sheridan.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes


Overall: Beautiful coming of age movie with powerhouse performances.




Midnight Special (2016)

casting card


Plot: A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child’s special powers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Stunningly Special


Story: Midnight Special starts by letting us know from the start that Alton Meyer (Lieberher) has been kidnapped, he is with Roy (Shannon) and Lucas (Edgerton) travelling at night to escape a cult run by Calvin Meyer (Shepard). We learn that Alton has special abilities the Calvin has been using but has gained the attention of the NSA with Sevier (Driver) looking into the reasons.

The cult has come to worship Alton because of his powers and will do anything to get him back because their date of judgement is coming up. We come to learn Roy along with Lucas and Sarah (Dunst) need to get Alton to a certain location by a certain date, but the mystery remains what for?

Midnight Special does what you will want all film to do, give us a simple concept with plenty of mystery about it because we do follow the on the run idea and the chaser’s views but we just don’t understand why Alton is so special. We see just how desperate Roy is to save his son added with Sevier’s desire to learn more about Alton’s gift without harming him. Mixing all this together we get a film that pulls us in within seconds that keeps us guessing until we finally see the truth. This is one of the most complete stories you will see this year.


Actor Review


Michael Shannon: Roy is the father of Alton who has taken him from the cult that worship him to get him to a certain location. We see how far Roy will go to make sure his son is safe and how he is with the only ones he can trust. Michael is fantastic in this role reach every single line of desperation his character finds himself in.

Joel Edgerton: Lucas is a state trooper and friend that Roy turns to for help, he drops everything to make sure he does help him but doesn’t fully understand what he has gotten himself into. Joel is great in this supporting role never trying to steal any of the scenes.

Kirsten Dunst: Sarah is the mother of Alton who hasn’t been on the ranch for a while she escaped but had to leave her son behind but when Roy turns up she comes along to save him from the cult. Kirsten is good in this supporting role show how she is picking her roles very well at the moment.

Jaeden Lieberher: Alton is the boy in question, he has abilities unlike anything the world has ever seen before. He has become worshiped by a cult but now the government see him as a threat to national security. Jaeden give us a performance that could easily put on a par with Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense.

Support Cast: Midnight Special has a supporting cast from all three angles trying to use Alton for their own reasons with Adam Driver being the stand out of all off the supporting cast.

Director Review: Jeff NicholsJeff gives us one of the most suspense driven sci-fi thrillers in recent years mostly because you simply just don’t know what will happen next.


Adventure: Midnight Special takes our characters on what is an adventure across country to help Alton get to where he needs to be.

Sci-Fi: Midnight Special takes a spin on the sci-fi genre by having the young boy with these abilities talking about another world, which just makes us wonder what is going on.

Thriller: Midnight Special keeps us on edge from start to finish as we just keep wondering what is going on and where everything will end up going.

Settings: Midnight Special has a mix of settings as we see the journey continue but each setting would be a good hide away from people looking for people on the run.
Special Effects
: Midnight Special uses flawless special effects when we see what Alton is capable of and in the final act.

Suggestion: Midnight Special is one you will need to go and watch, it will keep you guessing until the very end. (Watch)


Best Part: Gas station scene because it comes from nowhere.

Worst Part: I would have liked to see more from the cult’s leader.

Oh My God Moment: The final act.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Could be a few outside placing, much like Ex-Macina level of chances.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: He’s not like us.


Overall: One of the best sci-fi film in recent years.