CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Ava DuVernay’s ‘Middle of Nowhere’ Resonates by Valuing Truth Over Melodrama
CHICAGO – Ava DuVernay’s Sundance award-winning drama “Middle of Nowhere” is a confident, engaging drama strengthened by genuine, moving performances, particularly the stunningly good one at its center from Emayatzy Corinealdi. The movie sometimes falters due to some melodramatic, on-the-nose dialogue, but there’s an honesty, compassion, and genuine quality here that’s too often missing from adult dramas. It’s a striking debut.
Like so many Sundance dramas, “Middle of Nowhere” tells a relatively simple story but does so with enough artistic intent and truth of character that the common story that it tells becomes uncommonly good in its telling. There are strong performances across the board here but the film belongs to the stunning Emayatzy Corinealdi, who is in nearly every scene and imbues her performance with the kind of believability that is lacking from too many films like this one. I kept marveling at the sense of realism in “Middle of Nowhere” and that sense comes back to the work done by Corinealdi.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Middle of Nowhere” in our reviews section.|
She stars as Ruby, a woman struggling with a husband named Brian (David Oyelowo) who is doing time behind bars. She visits him regularly and works hard to pay his legal bills but he’s getting increasingly distant. He seems cold at their meetings, doesn’t tell her about everything going on behind bars and seems to be actively pushing Ruby away. And who’s to say that she shouldn’t take that push? When a revelation makes the move to fully separate even more enticing, Ruby is faced with a tough decision. When do you give up on someone for your own good? Or do you ride out the tough times for someone you love? Can you forgive a man behind bars when you can’t even touch him?
Middle of Nowhere
Photo credit: Participant Media