‘Middle of Nowhere’
With “Selma,” director Ava DuVernay went from relative obscurity to the forefront of the movement to bring diversity to Hollywood. But it was far from her debut. In fact the reason she got the “Selma” gig was due in part to “Middle of Nowhere,” her second feature, and, like her debut “I Will Follow,” a very different and tinier drama. Emayatzy Corinealdi, soon for Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis movie “Miles Ahead,” plays a young woman with a husband doing eight years in prison. She’s supportive, and yet she still winds up falling for another man anyway. He’s played by David Oyelowo, who went on to recommend DuVernay for the “Selma” job, though the film’s real stars are the director and the cinematographer, Bradford Young. “Middle of pull things back into focus.
Young, who followed DuVernay to “Selma,” lights scenes as dimly as he can, and both of them like to place the actors in unlikely places in the frames. The script itself never gets too pat; it even has a genuinely impossible dilemma, with both of our hero’s love objects worthy of sympathy. One can see the cool-headedness she would later bring to “Selma,” though “Middle of Nowhere” is far more than a mere sign of things to come.