Director: Ryan Coogler
Runtime: 85 minutes
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray, Ahna O’Reilly, Ariana Neal, Keenan Coogler, Trestin George, Joey Oglesby, Michael James, Marjorie Shears, Destiny Ekwueme, Bianca Rodriguez III, Julian Keyes
Description: The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
Review: Every once in a while there is this movie that, sometimes unintentional, is released at the right moment. “Fruitvale Station”, that’s set around a tragic shooting where the black Oscar Grant dies, is one of those movies. When the movie was released, there was the Trayvon Martin/ George Zimmerman case in the US, another incident where a black guy was needlessly shot.
It’s the 31st of December 2008 and this will be the last day of Oscar Grant’s life. After spending some time in jail, he now lives a life with his girlfriend and their four year old daughter. Oscar is trying to change his life. He doesn’t want to sell drugs anymore and tries to get a job at the local supermarket. Without him knowing it, some of his actions lead to his final destination.
The opening scene of the film tells us that we are dealing with a true story. Shaky shots from a phone show us the arrest with deadly ending. It immediately feels realistic. The camera work and the absence of music only amplify this feeling. Leading actor Michael B. Jordan shows us what he’s made of. What a wonderful performance. And all the other actors are very natural too. And also kudos for the director Ryan Coogler. Although you already know the ending, it doesn’t take away the tension and the shock.
For a film with a budget under a million dollars “Fruitvale Station” proofs that bigger isn’t always better. This engrossing last day of Oscar Grant is something you won’t easily forget.
Rating: 4/ 5