It's sort of a love movie and sort of isn't. Well-crafted drama avoids Hollywood cliches, and the acting is excellent. An exceptional American film which doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, this contemporary melodrama about a Black woman dealing with a difficult situation has a feeling of realness to it that is rare.
Middle of Nowhere is where we see Duvernay find her groove and it's also the natural step between the well meaning but amateuristic "I Will Follow" and the very good "Selma". Not everything works, specially some klunky line deliveries, but all in all, a good story with great atmosphere and life-like characters. Kudos to Lorraine "Vee" Toussaint for bringing her best whenever the movie stalls.
Ruby drops out of medical school when her husband, Derek, is sent to prison, and devotes her life to seeking his early release. But as things grow more complicated, she begins to understand that Derek may not be the only one who is incarcerated. Beautifully written and directed by Ava DuVernay, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE is a powerfully understated exploration of the mysterious and sometimes complicated nature of love.
I saw this in preview in LA a few weeks ago. Brilliantly nuanced, but also devastatingly direct. DuVernay understands love, and relationships, the power of things not said, and narrative editing. Bradford Young has the most beautiful eye for translating her vision. See it.
It's pretty impossible to find any problems with this film. Starting with it's amazing opening sequence, the movie has perfect pacing (a lot due to the great editing by Spencer Averick). The entire cast is flawless; it feels as if newcomer Emayatzy is the only person that could've played the lead (those soulful eyes!). And DuVernay has SO much confidence in her direction that it's hard not to be riveted throughout.