Jeff Nichols

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Award-winning screenwriter & director Jeff Nichols is our guest this week. We’ll be talking about his current film, LOVING (2016).

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Jeff Nichols is a member of the Texas Film Hall of Fame. He has written and directed the award-winning films Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special (2016), and Loving (2016), about Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple who effectively invalidated laws against interracial marriage with a landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision.

Loving won the 2016 PEN Literary Award for Screenplay, and is nominated for the 2017 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. Loving stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton were Golden Globe Award nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Motion Picture. Ruth Negga is nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress.

Jeff’s first feature-length film, Shotgun Stories earned the Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle and Austin Film Festivals; and the International Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival, and a Film Independent Spirit Awards nomination.

Take Shelter  took multiple honors at the Cannes International Film Festival, including the Critics Week Grand Prize; it was also nominated for five Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Jeff was a Spirit Awards nominee for his direction of Mud, and the cast of Mud shared the Spirit Awards’ Robert Altman Award. The film became one of the highest-grossing independent films of the year.

Midnight Special won Best Narrative Feature at the Sarasota Film Festival, and was nominated for the Berlin International Film Festival Golden Berlin Bear Award; the Austin Film Award; and the Phoenix Critics Circle PCC Award.

Jeff is from Little Rock, Arkansas and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Filmmaking. He lives in Austin, Texas.


Loving Reviews


There are few movies that speak to the American moment as movingly — and with as much idealism — as Jeff Nichols’s Loving.
Momentous events move at a human pace while Richard and Mildred Loving—a matchless pair of performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga—try with varying success to comprehend what’s happening to them.
It’s the damndest thing how the longeurs of Loving have such a cumulative power. I was still crying as the credits ended.
Nichols—director of Take Shelter, Mud and, most recently, Midnight Special—tells the Lovings’ story in a way that feels immediate and modern, and not just like a history lesson.
You can’t put the heart in prison. “Loving” is about a time they tried.
“Loving” is every bit as soft-spoken and subtly implacable as its protagonists. It lives up to its title as a noun and a verb, with elegant, undeniable simplicity. 
Loving is restrained to a fault, but entirely because it doesn’t want the Lovings’ triumph to feel like anything but a certainty. 
A film of utmost sensitivity, but not nearly enough outrage, secure in its position vis-à-vis the bigotry that dominated before America’s Civil Rights revolution.