FRUITVALE STATION

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 3, 2013

Bringing me to tears by the end, “Fruitvale Station” achieves precisely what director Ryan Coogler sets out to do: getting this high profile incident to the public in an entertaining and cinematic fashion. Delivering a strong performance is Michael B. Jordan, who causes some ripples in the Oscar pool. The film opens on the actual footage captured from the incident, along with news headlines. The audience gets the ending and then is 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.

Regarding a “based on a true story” retelling, I 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 of causing an outrage that extends beyond the movie theater seating. Yes, this entire debacle was an injustice. The overzealous nature of police officers towards minorities is appalling. These points are made clear. But “Fruitvale Station” stays entertaining on the most cinematic of levels. Were this film able to hold on, Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan could see themselves with an Oscar nomination, presenting much the same feeling I got from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” last year.

RELEASE DATE
July 12, 2013

DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler

WRITTEN BY
Ryan Coogler

STUDIO
The Weinstein Company

R
(for some violence, language throughout and some drug use)

BIOGRAPHY
CRIME
DRAMA

ROMANCE
85 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Rachel Morrison

COMPOSER
Ludwig Göransson

EDITOR
Claudia Castello
Michael P. Shawver

CAST
Michael B. Jordan
Melonie Diaz
Kevin Durand
Chad Michael Murray
Ahna O’Reilly
Octavia Spencer

PRODUCED BY
Nina Yang Bongiovi
Forest Whitaker

BUDGET
$900,000

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