This review is for “Fruitvale Station”, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer. This movie came out on DVD in the United States on January 14, 2014.
“Fruitvale” tells the true story of Oscar Grant III (played by Michael B. Jordan), who is fatally shot by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Officers in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009. This biopic shows a day of Oscar Grant’s life, New Year’s Eve 2008, where he pledges to be a better man, to love his daughter better, and other resolutions. Grant is trying to escape his past, to fix it, before it hurts anyone else.
We see Oscar in all aspects in this film, from compassion to a hardened shell, only as a film focusing on 24 hours could. We see him trying to love his daughter even though trying to keep her naive from what is going on around her.
New Year’s Eve is Oscar’s mother’s (played by Octavia Spencer/The Help) birthday. Shown well is Oscar and his mother’s bond, one broken and forged over and over again. Oscar is shown then going to New Year’s celebrations with his friends and girlfriend, and something from his past comes back to hurt him. He is caught up in a fight, and for simply trying to prove his innocence, has racial epithets thrown at him. One thing leads to another and Oscar Grant is shot dead in the Fruitvale Train Station, just like in real events.
This movie made me cry more than any other movie in a long time. As someone who fights for civil rights and racial equality, this movie really affected me and will affect anyone. It sensitizes you, in direct opposition to the normal desensitization, due to the emotional bond that you develop with Oscar. I truly believe that this movie should be seen by as many people as possible, to show that racial profiling did not end in the 1960’s. An event similar to Trayvon Martin’s and, almost 60 years ago, Emmett Till’s, deaths due to race, shown in a movie that puts a life with a name on a death certificate. I truly believe that this movie will change millions of hearts and will inspire many to take up the torch in our generation to end racial profiling and social inequality in America.
Major Critical Praise For “Fruitvale Station”:
-Winner of the AFI Top 10 Movies of the Year Award
-Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Best First Film Award
-Appeared on numerous critics Top Movies of The Year Lists, such as critics with the LA Times, Washington Post, and others.
-Nominated for NAACP Best Picture, etc…
For more information on all things “Fruitvale Station”, please visit http://www.fruitvalefilm.com
(Credit to http://www.fruitvalefilm.com for photo)