Fruitvale Station [Blu-ray]
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We witness video footage of police rounding up black youths at a transit train station, and while the suspects are on the ground and restrained, a gun goes off striking one of them in full view of witnesses. What follows is a flashback account of the final day of Oscar Grant's life and the events leading up to New Year's Day 2009. Amid the backdrop of the Oakland Bay area, Oscar (Michael B. Jordan in a breakout performance) is a young black man whose background is a mix of prison, drug dealing, and failed jobs amid a serious relationship with his girlfriend, Sophina (Melonie Diaz), and their little daughter. He loves his family especially his mother (Octavia Spencer is rock solid) and vows to make a better life for them. It is New Year's Eve, and he helps to prepare his mother's birthday celebration. Just as he is on the brink of a new start, fate intervenes at a transit station and a deadly encounter with police.
Oscar is a man who has a conscience and a sense of responsibility. On the one hand he is portrayed as a devoted father, a passionate lover to his girlfriend, and loving son to his mom, and yet he lies to his loved ones and is in constant turmoil. It is affecting to see that he genuinely wants to leave behind his broken life and get a second chance.Read more ›
The story of him being shot by a BART police officer while face down on the ground at an Oakland BART station, on New Years day 2009 sparked a series of riots there.
Happily, a movie has been made which brings the situation more fully to light, and it raises questions about, for example, profiling, civil rights for black people, and the simple issue of justice. Around the same time the movie was released the George Zimmerman trial was in progress and decided. The acquittal of George Zimmerman on the grounds of self defense in the slaying of Trayvon Martin sparked outrage, and national protest. Unfortunately, one of those protests was in Oakland where there was property damage and injuries inflicted on innocent people.
May I say, the movie does not start out promising, it is low budget, and looks it, however as it went along I was totally transported by it knowing its dreadful end. Some of the storytelling elements are clunky and obviously manipulative. Undoubtedly, this was done to make the character look more sympathetic, but the story could have achieved the same effect with less manipulation.
Told in a non linear fashion we are not always sure where we are in the scheme of things. Oscars has faults, and the movie does not attempt to hide them. If it played up only those faults, there would be a danger of stereotyping. Go too far the other way and it's manipulative. Yes, he had substance issues, yes he did time, yes he lost his job because he was unreliable. But these are not the only things that define a character.Read more ›
Also starring Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station," is based on a real life killing. I've read several articles that believe it should have received at least one Oscar nomination, and I have to agree (surely, there's room for more than one African American centered movie in the lineup?). However, it's worth seeing anyway.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fruitvale is a great movie. The story needed to be told and I'm glad Ryan did.Published 6 days ago by Laqueshia Thomas
I was reluctant to watch this film when it came out, because I just assumed it would be "PC Propaganda".
I was wrong. Read more
Great movie. I use this for my criminology class. This makes the students analyze police misconduct.Published 2 months ago by Monica Proffitt Osborne