Friday, October 19, 2012

Ava DuVernay Is In The 'Middle of Nowhere'

Emayatzy Corinealdi
With every new project, Ava DuVernay ups her game!

Her latest film, Middle of Nowhere shows her growth as a writer, director and producer.  It’s evidenced by her win as the first African-American to win the Best Director award at Sundance in 2012.  This is DuVernay’s second feature. The first was the drama, I Will Follow.

Middle of Nowhere focuses on Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi), a medical student torn between staying loyal to her imprisoned husband and moving forward with her life with a new man she’s drawn to who offers new possibilities.

Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy Corinealdi
Ruby has been a medical student for four years. She is totally in love with her hubby, Derek, (Omar Hardwick), who is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

Her commitment to her husband gets rocked when she learns something about him during his parole hearing.

Cut to four years later, and Ruby, is still hoping beyond hope that her husband will get out early for good behavior. Her hopes are quickly dashed when she learns her husband was in a prison melee. Her mother, played by Lorraine Toussaint, is skeptical of the man she calls her son-in-law.

Ruby eventually meets Brian (David Oyelowo), a dashing and handsome bus driver. The two develop a relationship that sends Ruby into a tailspin. Does she stay with her husband or does she move her life forward with Brian.

There are some good performances in this drama, most especially Toussaint, who is a scene-stealer. Oyelowo, who also stars in the Lee Daniels drama, The Paperboy, is excellent in his role as a man in love. Corinealdi is a breath of fresh air, while Hardwick holds his own.

There are no bells and whistles in this drama.  DuVernay’s piece survives solely on character development and story.

It’s at slow journey, but the pay-off is worth the wait.  

 Ava DuVernay

Kudos to DuVernay and her cast!!!

Middle of Nowhere, A Kandoo Films, Forward Movement production, is produced by Howard Barish, Ana DuVernay and Paul Garnes. It’s directed and written by Ava DuVernay. The film stars Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Toussaint, Edwina Findley, Sharon Lawrence, Dondre Whitfield, Troy Curvey III and Maya Gilbert.

Middle of Nowhere is Rated R: Running time: 99 min.

On the Donloe Scale: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no) N (needs work), L (likable), O (OK) and E (excellent/exquisite) – Middle of Nowhere gets an O (OK).

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