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“Fruitvale Station” – Review (POSITIVE)

August 26, 2013

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 3.28.59 PMI haven’t severely teared up after watching a movie like “Fruitvale Station” in quite a long time. But man oh man does the movie leave a punch in the gut like you wouldn’t believe. Powerhouse acting from the films lead ‘hero’, a story that fuels hope, and an ending that leaves us with questions about our society of today, a good movie should always leave us asking questions about the world we live in.

Based on the True Story about Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22 year old young black man living in the Bay Area who was killed during a police arrest on New Years Day of 2009.In the film, Oscar tries to reconcile with his past mistakes on New Years Eve of 2008. Making right with his girlfriend, mother, and past troubles with the law. Oscar is a hopeful man, who is set to make a change in himself for the New Year. Although the past catches up to him after returning home from celebrating in downtown San Francisco, Oscar and his friends are caught up in a riot and are placed under arrested, leading to an unforeseeable demise no one, not even Oscar saw coming.

I know how this movie is going to end, Christ, we all know how it ends (if you watched CNN like four years ago). But, how first time writer-director Ryan Coogler plays out the events of the film, you sit there hoping things will turn out for the best in Oscar. He’s a hero, he’s a person you’re rooting for every step of the way, which makes the imminent injustice all the more powerful for all audience members to endure.

The acting talent across the board is fantastic here, I’ve always liked Michael B. Jordan since I saw him in “Chronicle”, I think he’s one of those up and coming stars that will earn that everyman/leading man title like Tom Hanks or Denzel Washington down the line in his career. Here, he is simply brilliant. He’s so real and honest, he makes this role his own while paying homage to somebody who didn’t deserve what happened to him. An Oscar nomination is clearly a must for him, as well as Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, playing his mother, who gives terrific nuance in her role.

“Fruitvale Station” is one of those movies that everyone should see, even with its R rating, I feel that pre-teens to teens need to see this movie. What happened to Oscar was unforgivable and the outcome how the law handled it couldn’t have been more wrong. The reaction to Oscar’s passing was a mixture of peaceful-violent protests, take the ladder, make it peaceful, remember him, remember him as this movie remembers him; a good man.

GRADE: A

Special Thanks to Adele Zin for attending the screening and sharing her input.

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