Middle of Nowhere

Slump

         
 

19 October 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Good for small indie terms, but it fails to take any big artistic risks. Middle of Nowhere has a remarkably sympathetic and nuanced lead actress with Emayatzy Corinealdi, and I’d go on to say she is on her way to having a big career if it weren’t for her impossible to pronounce name. Her character Ruby drops out of medical school when her husband (Omari Hardwick) is incarcerated. The movie skips ahead four years later with her managing a job and filling out appeals papers. Her husband is due a parole hearing within a year. The writing is sharp and convincing, I learned for instance, a few things about prison correctional procedures.

When the man on an 8-year sentence goes to the penitentiary he wants out, he urges his wife to submit an appeal. A few years into his sentence, he might not be so sure, perhaps he’s complacent locked up. After four years of good behavior, he commits another felonious act and an immoral one – just before he was up for parole consideration. He seems almost OK to be left to fulfill a full sentence while Ruby is left to saunter in disbelief. Ruby meets a bus driver (David Oyelowo) who talks smooth and offers romantic possibilities. Is Ruby that committed to her marriage anymore?

However, the movie’s atmosphere is hazy. It takes place in today’s times, but it could take place anytime between 1980 to 2020 – it all has an indistinct, nondescript feel. Something is lethargic about the camera work. “Middle of Nowhere” is still nonetheless a decent and respectable film with a purpose for those audiences interested in troubled, estranged marriages. Ava DuVernay is a professional film director, but she needs to see a Gus Van Sant or Sarah Polley film, and at least attempt some visual daring with her next project. As is, her work is occasionally inert.

98 Minutes. Rated R.

DRAMA / INDIE / WEEKEND FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Film Cousins: “Nothing But a Man” (1964); “Killer of Sheep” (1977); “25th Hour” (2002); “I Will Follow” (2011).

 

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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