Loving appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.
Sharpness looked very good. Only mild softness materialized, which meant a tight, well-defined image. I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.
In terms of palette, America went with a pretty standard mix of orange and teal. The film didn’t overwhelm us with those choices and made them low-key, but the image did favor them in its gentle manner. Within the stylistic decisions, the hues seemed fine. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This turned into an appealing image.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it came across as low-key, and that seemed fine given the movie’s parameters. A couple of shots – such as a drag race – offered a bit of pizzazz, and general ambience worked fine. Nothing much that I could call memorable evolved, though, so this stayed a subdued soundscape.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness. Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate. Effects showed good delineation and accuracy. The soundtrack worked appropriately for the material.
A few extras fill out the disc, and we find an audio commentary from writer/director Jeff Nichols. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at what inspired him to make the film, historical elements and context, story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, music and related domains.
Overall, Nichols provides a competent commentary. He gets into both filmmaking nuts and bolts and historical topics in a reasonably informative manner. Like the movie, the chat always remains a little too subdued for its own good, but Nichols still delivers a largely worthwhile conversation.
Four featurettes follow. Making Loving goes for four minutes, 28 seconds and offers info from Nichols, producers Colin Firth, Marc Turteltaub, Nanci Buirski, Ged Doherty, Sarah Green and Peter Saraf, costume designer Erin Benach, and actors Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Terri Abney, and Jon Bass.
“Making” discusses the project’s origins and development, story/characters and historical domains, cast and performances, sets and locations. This is mainly promotional material with little depth.
Next comes A Loving Ensemble, a four-minute, seven-second piece with Nichols, Doherty, Green, Negga, Abney, Firth, Edgerton, and actors Michael Shannon and Nick Kroll. As expected, this one examines cast, characters and performances. As expected, it offers a lot of happy talk and little else.
Loving v. Virginia fills four minutes, 26 seconds with notes from Edgerton, Negga, Green, Nichols, Buirski, Bass, Doherty, Kroll, Abney, actor Marton Csokas and various interracial married couples. “Virginia” views the historical case involved in the movie, and it does so in a wholly non-informative way. All the material found here already comes up in the film.
Finally, we find Virginia: A Loving Backdrop. It lasts three minutes, nine seconds as it provides material with Nichols, Edgerton, Negga, Kroll, Abney, Governor Terry McAuliffe, associate producer Oge Egbuonu, and key assistant location manager Lori Russell. This piece looks at locations. Like its siblings, “Backdrop” lacks detail and much substance.
The disc opens with ads for Nocturnal Animals, The Zookeeper’s Wife, A Monster Calls, Frank & Lola and The Edge of Seventeen. Previews adds clips for Race, Dallas Buyers Club, The Danish Girl, Suffragette and Hyde Park on the Hudson. No trailer for Loving appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Loving. It includes all the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Loving tells an important story and in theory, I admire its dramatic restraint. However, these cinematic choices make it a slow journey that doesn’t pay off with the expected emotional impact because it fails to invest the viewer in its characters. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with acceptable audio and average supplements. Loving remains watchable but it lacks much power.