'Middle of Nowhere'
(Omari Hardwick, Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / LGF)
Overview: When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Rudy drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband's well-being while he's incarcerated - leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process.
DVD Verdict: My goodness ... 'Middle of Nowhere' most certainly offers a beauty that is almost inarticulate in its depth. Whatever one may think that they are going to get from a story about a couple's struggle to have their relationship survive the husband's incarceration, Ava DuVernay rightly skips over the cliché straight into a story of truth, brokenness, and dignity.
The truth that comes like a firestorm for the lead character is immediate and confrontational to her existence. She's a woman who, in trying to do the right thing, embarks on a journey for the real thing. DuVernay is not afraid of ambiguity for her film or her characters. This fearlessness begets the dignity in embracing one's brokenness as the only path to healing and true hope.
True hope – not a cookie-cutter version of hope – but a hard won, gritty, and soul-freeing journey to a hope belies an understanding and embracing of the pursuit of purpose as a journey and not a destination. 'Middle of Nowhere' illustrated that peace and redemption is not always pretty.
DuVernay takes her time in the telling of this story. This time is a gift given to the viewer – the gift of sitting with the characters and not merely experiencing an emotional drive-by for the sake of a slick, face-paced delivery. Indeed, I simply cannot say enough about the performances in the film. Emayatzy E. Corinealdi is a jewel of an actress. David Oyelowo and Omari Hardwick approach their roles with authenticity and clarity. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary with Writer / Director Ava DuVernay and Actress Emayatzy Corinealdi.