Indie Gems: Fruitvale Station

A somber look at the last day of Oscar's life.

Oscar Grant was a 22 year old man that was fatally shot by a police officer on New Years Day in 2009. In the film, he's played by Michael B. Jordan, and we follow him through his last few days. He's set on bettering himself, and his life with his girlfriend, Sophina (the always enjoyable Melonie Diaz) and their young daughter Tatianna. (Ariana Neal)

Michael B. Jordan, wow, he just gives a really good performance here. (Plus he was in Hardball when he was a kid, and I have a strange soft spot for that movie) Octavia Spencer, who plays Oscar's mother is brilliant in every scene she's in. But one thing I really appreciated about this movie is it viewed everything from a neutral stand point. Oscar had a criminal record and a bit of an anger problem, the film didn't choose to hide that, we got to see that and Oscar at his best, when he's with his young daughter or being helpful to strangers. The police were not portrayed as as the stereotypical "brutal thug policemen" either. This film could've had a serious agenda, but it chose not to. 

It doesn't make it any easier to watch. The act itself was extremely senseless, especially when shown cell phone videos of the actual incident. Oscar did not deserve to get shot. The whole thing had me in tears by the end. This review is the very definition of "rambling." I'm having a hard time putting it to words. Just know that Fruitvale Station is a very well made film with great performances on a very tragic event.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Ma, can I get a hug?" - Oscar (Michael B. Jordan)

14 comments:

  1. I still can't believe that this was completely shut out by Oscar!

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    1. It was very Oscar baity, I think it's release date had a lot to do with it. It came out too early, and it was a small picture that most people forgot about. Damn shame.

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    2. I agree, I think it had a lot to do with the release date.

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  2. I kinda lost interested and drifted off after the dog scene. No way I'd have respect for a film this grossly manipulative.

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    1. Thank you for warning me about that scene. I saw the dog and hit "next" on my DVD, so I skipped the whole thing. I didn't feel like I missed anything with that scene omitted.

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  3. Well, this sounds depressing. Especially the dog scene (dog scene + warning never means good...) But if I ever stumble upon it on Netflix, I'll give it a go. I guess.

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    1. I'm the biggest wuss about doggy death in film. I always skip it if I know it's coming.

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  4. Nice write up. Apart from the unnecessary dog scene, I really enjoyed it. Jordan, Spencer and Diaz were all great. Glad you liked it!

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    1. They were! I really dug Diaz, she's never really on the acting radar, but she's always so consistently good.

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  5. I had a strange response to this film. I wasn't to keen on it after my first viewing. But after watching it a second time I was able to overlook its flaws and really appreciate what it was doing.

    Nice review!

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  6. Great review! I had the same problem with putting it into words. I couldn't even review it.

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    1. I still think my review is a mess, but I don't know what to do to correct it. ha

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