It's been a remarkable week for writer-director Ava DuVernay and her film "Middle of Nowhere." Starring Emayatzy Corinealdi as the wife of an incarcerated man, the searing drama received strong reviews when it premiered in January at Sundance and it's now opening in limited release this weekend in five cities across the country -- with the benefit of an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey has tweeted about "Middle of Nowhere" twice during the last few days and today she posted a Facebook message about the film for her close to 8 million subscribers:
"Saw the film 'Middle of Nowhere.' Powerful and Poetic. It opens this weekend in NY, LA, ATL, DC and Philly. You can see the trailer here: www.middlenowhere.com.
So many women - a disproportionate number of them African American women - have to cope with a spouse in jail. This movie, 'Middle of Nowhere,' poignantly represents all the drama and feelings involved.
I saw the film and was so moved by it. I think you will be too."
Oprah is not the film's only fan, though she might arguably be the most influential. In his review, the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan said, "Though 'Middle of Nowhere' is very much a character piece, it benefits from some intricate plotting, and going where you think it will go is not on this film's mind.... We don't often have films that ask questions like these or ones that answer them as effectively."