xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"Moving Midway" tells three stories, each one worthy of a film of its own. (1) It records the journey home to North Carolina of the film critic Godfrey Cheshire, and his discovery of his family's secret history. (2) It documents the ordeal of moving a 160-year-old Southern plantation house to a new location miles away, not by road but overland. (3) It demolishes the myth of the Southern plantation.
Movie critics are always asked if they've ever wanted to make a movie of their own. A handful, like Peter Bogdanovich and Rod Lurie, have had success with features. Others, like Todd McCarthy, have made good documentaries. Godfrey Cheshire's first film follows the first rule of both kinds of films: Start with a strong story that you feel a personal connection with. His story grows stronger, and the connections deeper.
Like many critics (the Alabama-born Jonathan Rosenbaum comes to mind), Cheshire was a small-town boy who moved to the big city. First it was Raleigh, and now New York. In North Carolina, his youth revolved around Midway Plantation, outside Raleigh, the family seat since 1848. In 2006, the ravages of progress overran Midway. It was boxed in by two expressways. Best Buy was across the street. Target and Home Depot were moving in. Godfrey's brother Charlie hired experts to jack up the house, put it on wheels and move it to 60 or 70 acres deep into the country.
Godfrey went south to film this undertaking. It stirred family memories, and stories about the ghosts many people thought they had seen in Midway. Then he heard from an NYU professor of African-American studies named Robert Hinton, who said he was related to the family; Hinton is the ancestral name. Robert is African American. Godfrey invited him to come to North Carolina, visit the house and watch the move.