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“The Odd Way Home” Provides a Rare Look at Life with Autism on the Big Screen

Author:   |  Published: May 14, 2014  |  Leave your thoughts

Director Rajeev Nirmalakhandan’s film “The Odd Way Home” portrays two individuals on the periphery of ordinary life, and the journey they unexpectedly undertake when they happen to cross paths.


Cross paths is almost too mundane a way to describe how Maya, played by Rumer Willis, and Duncan, played by Chris Marquette, collide.


Fleeing from her abusive boyfriend and having his world turn upside down when his grandmother passes away, Maya and Duncan find themselves trying to start all over again, with each other.


Set against the beautiful backdrop of New Mexico, the film is all at once heart wrenching and heart warming. Duncan, living with Autism in a world that’s not very aware or understanding of it, and Maya coming to terms with the impact of abuse, become characters you can’t help but root for.


It seems that there is so much stacked against them as they struggle internally with the challenges they face.


And yet there are moments of joy and humour so wonderfully unexpected – you just never think you’ll see a stick up for a burger and some paper towels. And for that matter you’d never think that brown paper towels could be so significant. But they serve as the backdrop for Duncan’s intricately detailed maps. Maps he treats as his lifelines because, in a world so often riddled with chaos, they “tell us everything”.


One of the film’s current partners in raising awareness about Autism is Autism Today, based in Canada. By establishing more partnerships, the director hopes to create awareness and fundraising opportunities for organizations supporting individuals with Autism, and their families. Whether it’s via an odd way or not, Nirmalakhandan believes that everyone deserves to find their way home.


The film will be opening in LA at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood on May 30th, will be available on iTunes and VOD on June 3rd, and on DVD on June 10th. For all updates on the film, and opportunities to help raise awareness about Autism, check out the official facebook page.



A screening is being planned, with the Director on hand, in Toronto this summer. Stay tuned for more details! TC will be announcing them as they are finalized.