Last year, both Tambay and I didn’t have enough words to say about Jono Oliver’s terrific feature film directorial debut Home.
Starring Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Good Wife, Graceland and many other film and TV roles), the film deals with a man suffering from a mental illness in a halfway house facility who is trying to rebuild his life, make peace with the wife he was once married to, and to be a father to the child they had together.
And the first thing he needs to do on his road to accomplishing all of that, is to find his own place, which, for him, symbolizes his freedom, independence and, hopefully, a new life. Needless to say, it’s not easy and he encounters more than his fair share of roadblocks and setbacks along the way.
It's an impressive indie film, featuring Akinnagbe in a performance unlike anything you've likely seen him in, as he carries the project as a man who simply wants nothing more than to live as any other man would - with dignity.
Similar films like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest immediately come to mind. Not that it's exactly like that film (both do maintain a nice balance between the dramatic and the comedic), but that's a landmark movie most will immediately recognize and refer to when conversations about dramas set in mental institutions are had.
But Home is a heartwarming and inspiring drama about hope and determination that will resonate universally.
Director Jono Oliver has worked as a DGA assistant director on several projects that you'll be familiar with, including The Great Debaters, Notorious, Guess Who, Barbershop 2, John Tucker Must Die, Snake Eyes, Last Action Hero, and Soul Food.
He's also written for TV - specifically, CBS's Blue Bloods and has been honored with screenwriting awards like the IFP’s Gordon Parks Award for Screenwriting.
This year, Oliver received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture, along with fellow nominees Steve McQueen and Lee Daniels.
A year after traveling the film festival circuit, winning a few awards along the way, Home is now out on DVD and VOD though Entertainment One Home Video today, Tuesday, March 25th.
Do yourself a favor and check it out! I guarantee you’ll love it just as much as everyone else who has seen it.
Here's the trailer: