Fruitvale Station


Michael B. Jordan is the heart and soul of Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, an engrossing and distressing recounting of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a Bay Area  man aching for redemption after doing prison time for drug dealing who is killed by a police office in the early morning of New Year's Day 2004. As Coogler presents it, Grant was not entirely mended but was determined to create a life for himself, his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz) and their daughter, Tatiana, (Ariana Neal), when random elements converged on a BART train while Grant, Sophina and a group of their friends were returning from a New Year's Day celebration in San Francisco. One of the more devastating scenes in the film (aside from the fatal shooting on the BART station platform) is the recreation of a prison visit between Grant and his mother (a masterful Octavia Spencer). The truth pealing throughout the scene, the crystallization of a mother's uncompromising love for her damaged and damaging child, is deafening. Jordan will most assuredly get an Oscar-nod for his passionate portrayal of the doomed Grant, who was felled by fate and fear but whose end resonates through the Bay Area (and now the world) to this day. Highly recommended.

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