Films & Schedules

  • Middle of Nowhere

  • John Stockwell

95 minutes

Production Company:
Bold Films
Executive Producer:
Gary Michael Walters
Michel Litvak, David Lancaster, John Stockwell, Nicole Rocklin
Michelle Morgan
Production Designer:
James A. Gelarden
Byron Shah
Tom McArdle
Jason Dotts
Ferraby Lionheart
Principal Cast: Susan Sarandon, Eva Amurri, Anton Yelchin, Justin Chatwin, Willa Holland

International Sales Agent:
Inferno Distribution

TIFF Tags: Coming Of Age/Youth  Women 

Saturday September 0609:15PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Monday September 0803:15PM AMC 10 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1202:45PM AMC 6 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Seventeen-year-old Dorian (Anton Yelchin of Alpha Dog) is a total screw-up. As a result, his well-to-do parents ship him off to his uncle for the summer, where he gets a job at a water park. Whistle around his neck and flip-flops on his feet, he meets the slightly older Grace (Eva Amurri). Grace is most definitely not a screw-up. She has top marks, a part-time job, aspires to be a doctor, and has done a lot to take care of her younger sister Taylor (Willa Holland of the The O.C.) since their father's suicide six years earlier.

Grace does have one inescapable problem: her mother Rhonda (Susan Sarandon). Rhonda is a blowsy, self-centred force of nature who, in her own opinion, has struggled heroically to keep her family together since her husband's death. Grace sees this situation a bit differently, especially after Rhonda takes out credit cards in Grace's name and never makes payments. This means that Grace is denied much-needed financial assistance in order to go to university, and she has only twelve weeks to raise $12,000. Earning minimum wage at the water park won't cut it.

In the meantime, Dorian has decided that freedom from his rich family will only come with money of his own, so he sets himself up as a pot dealer. But he needs transportation to really cover the territory, and since Grace has no other money-raising options, but does have a car, she signs on as his partner.

Over the course of the summer, their partnership proves profitable, but of course human frailty starts to interfere. The sisters discover some incendiary information about their father's death, and Dorian finds the courage to conclude some troubling business from his distant past.

Director John Stockwell (Crazy/Beautiful) creates an extraordinary atmosphere within the world of this film. The performances are unselfconscious and the relationships between the characters emotionally authentic. Along with Sarandon as the smouldering Rhonda, Amurri stands out as the beleaguered Grace, whose large eyes mirror every thought and emotion she experiences during this most pivotal summer.

Jane Schoettle

John Stockwell is an actor, writer and filmmaker. Born in Galveston, Texas, he holds a B.A. in visual and environmental studies from Harvard University. In addition to several episodes of the television series The L Word, his directing credits include the features Crazy/Beautiful (01), Blue Crush (02), Into the Blue (05) and Middle of Nowhere (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award