One Minute Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)

Release Date
July 26, 2013
Director
Ryan Coogler
Screenplay
Ryan Coogler
Distributed By
The Weinstein Company
Budget
$900,000
Biography, Drama, Romance
Rated R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use
85 minutes

Fruitvale Station
09fourhalf-stars

Bringing me to tears by the end, “Fruitvale Station” achieves exactly what director Ryan Coogler sets out to do, bringing this high profile incident to the public in an entertaining and cinematic fashion, delivering a strong performance from Michael B. Jordan and causing some ripples in the Oscar pool. Opening on the actual footage captured from the incident, along with any news headlines you may have caught on this recent outrage, the audience is given the ending and then sent on a slow moving spiral through Oscar Grant’s (Michael B. Jordan) last day, as we learn about his past, see him interact with his girlfriend, mother, and daughter, all while trying to get his life in order.

In terms of a “based on a true story” retelling, I stop to question the believability that this convicted felon was a saint on his last day. I can believe portions but the glamorization of this man’s life on his final day does nothing in the sense to cause an outrage that extends beyond the movie theater seating. Yes, this entire debacle was an injustice and the overzealous nature of police officers towards minorities is sometimes appalling and these points are made clear, but “Fruitvale Station” stays entertaining on the most cinematic of levels rather than hitting home as an honest to God true story, Were this film able to hold on, Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan could see themselves with an Oscar nomination, presenting much the same feel I got from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” last year.

 

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