Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere opens at a prison where Rudy is visiting her incarcerated husband, Derek. She tells Derek that she has decided to leave med school, making the ultimate sacrifice, so she can be closer to Derek while he serves his time. While so many films out there look at the lives of people incarcerated in prison, Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere turns its attention towards the loved ones outside the prison walls. Middle of Nowhere is a piercing portrait showing how Rudy's struggle outside of the walls is not much different than her husbands inside. The world doesn't stand still when prison happens to a loved one and we see the tireless sacrifices Rudy makes in attempting to keep their household in order and ultimately help her husband to get out of prison. A character study through and through, Middle of Nowhere does a nice job at getting into the head space of Rudy, showing how the memories of her husband are what keeps her going. We see the mental and physical wear and tear this struggle has on Rudy, the countless hours of working, the poverty and even the blame which she puts on herself for her husband's incarceration. As incidences happen, including Ruby learning about her husbands infidelity, the film begins to beg the question as to who in the relationship is really imprisoned. Rudy is closed off in her own life because of her husband's situation and one begins to simply question whether she is wasting her time on something that may never occur, at least not in a timely matter. No character in Middle of Nowhere is villainized with the film realizing that things are rarely black and white, instead showing the gray areas which exist in the tough decisions of life. With all the positives about the film I must say I was a bit surprised to learn that this won the directing award at Sundance, as I do feel the writing and performances were more integral to the films ultimate success. One decision that really bothered me was how Rudy owned an IPhone 4s, which made little sense considering her financial situation. Obviously this isn't a huge deal in the context of the film but these type of things really bother me cause I don't understand how they could possible be overlooked. For me Middle of Nowhere is ultimately a film about letting go of what you can't control and realizing that if something is meant to be it will happen with Love unwilling to be denied.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.