Middle of Nowhere is an aptly titled film.  The most obvious meaning the prison where the protagonist Ruby, wonderfully acted by relative newcomer Emamyatzy Corinealdi, visits her husband Derek, played by Omari Hardwick.  Derek is serving an eight year sentence for a non-violent crime.  The correctional facility is located in Victorville, California, and any Angeleno will tell you that is in the middle of nowhere.  But like any good film, the title has a deeper meaning.  It is a metaphor for the state of Ruby’s life.

A devoted wife and still very much in love with her spouse she voluntarily stalls the trajectory of her life, and waits for Derek.  Four years into his prison sentence he is up for parole.  Meanwhile, Ruby has made ends meet by forgoing med school and working night shifts as a nurse.  She travels all night and makes multiple bus transfers to get home to her sister and help babysit her nephew.  But it all comes crashing down on her, when she learns during the parole hearing that Derek may not have been as devoted to her as she was to him.  It is at this pivotal moment, that the viewer becomes struck with the realization that Ruby is trapped and a lost soul.  Unfortunately for Ruby, it takes her longer to come to this level of consciousness.

That is, until she meets Los Angeles bus driver Brian, played by the Royal Shakespeare Company trained David Oyelowo.  Like any good love interest, Brian has a wound too.  He is recovering from a divorce and in similar fashion to Ruby he is screaming out for somebody to love him.  There is a beautiful scene where after a date at a dance club, Ruby goes back to Brian’s place.  But they just stand in the middle of the room and hold one another, as if they have never experienced human touch.  Brian is persistent and he breaks down Ruby’s walls, freeing her of her past life with Derek and allowing her to finally go somewhere.

The film written and directed by Ava DuVernay won the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  DuVernay started out as a Publicist in Hollywood and Middle of Nowhere is the second feature film she’s directed.  I was lucky enough to stumble upon a surprise Q & A after the screening with actor Oyelowo.  He shared that DuVernay first wrote this film ten years ago and the version on the silver screen now is the result of almost a decade of hard work.  Any writer can appreciate that, because they know each project is a journey.

When asked what drew him to the character of Brian, Oyelowo explained, in his refined British accent, “….I loved the opportunity to get to play the complications of what we as human beings have to endure, when it comes to love.”

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Comments
  1. Veronica says:

    Wow! Bravo! Excellent! Can’t wait to see your name in lights and read the next one! I believe you can do it!

    Wishing you all the best! Waiting for your next work.

    Your fan, Veronica

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. joelskod@aol.com says:

    Hi Amelia,

    Many thanks. Please keep sending.

    Love,

    Joel and Mary

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