Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir wonders whether audiences will come out to see Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere – I have no idea if they will. I’m guessing the target demo will not. But I’m hoping that anyone who wants to see a dreamy, haunting and altogether unforgettable film made for thinking adults will check this one out. Lots of really great movies hitting theaters soon, in rapid succession. A few of them should not slip through the cracks – Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom and now, Middle of Nowhere.
To say that “Middle of Nowhere,” winner of Sundance’s coveted directing award for writer-director Ava DuVernay, sheds long-overdue light on infrequently explored aspects of African American life is true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.
For the truth is that it is uncommon to see serious adult dramas this moving and accomplished, so attuned to real people and their complex, recognizable emotions, no matter the racial makeup of the characters involved.
So though it echoes the films of Charles Burnett, the plays of August Wilson and “A Raisin in the Sun,” at its heart “Middle of Nowhere” is old-school, character-driven narrative at its most quietly effective.
NY Times’ Manohla Dargis names Middle of Nowhere a Critic’s Pick:
A plaintive, slow-boiling, quietly soul-stirring drama about a woman coming into her own, “Middle of Nowhere” carries the imprimatur of Sundance, but without the dreary stereotypes or self-satisfied politics that can (at times unfairly) characterize its offerings. The journey is hard in Ms. DuVernay‘s movie, as well as politically freighted, but also more complex than it might initially seem.