Fruitvale Station

The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

A powerful retelling of the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant at Fruitvale Station on New Years Day a few years ago. Directed by newcomer Ryan Coogler, and starring Michael B. Jordan as Oscar, this is a compelling debut and an intense experience. Coogler cleverly plays with the audience’s knowledge of the conclusion to build up suspense and tension as we follow Grant through his day. We learn a lot about Oscar, he’s got a daughter who he loves and a family who loves him. He’s also been in prison and has just lost his job, and his girlfriend recently caught him cheating. Coogler’s storytelling and Jordan’s performance manage to create a full picture of this man and doesn’t resort to painting him as some sort of hero, or some sort of villain. He’s simply a young man who made mistakes in his life, and a young man who didn’t deserve to meet his end at the hands of police brutality.

Jordan is one of the finest up and coming actors around, and this is arguably his finest performance yet, following up strong showings in Chronicle and TV Series ‘Friday Night Light’s’ and ‘The Wire’. The conclusion is well directed by Coogler, successfully showing how the incident began, and how the police catastrophically misread the situation. This is a powerful film about police injustice and racial discrimination, but more than that it’s a portrait of a troubled youth who wants to do better for himself, and the tragic way things ended for him. Recommended

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Chad Michael Murray and Kevin Durand


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