Review: Fruitvale Station
Originally published in the Big Issue.
Based on a true story about the fatal shooting of a young man by a BART police officer during the early hours of New Years Day in 2009, Fruitvale Station is an incredibly moving, heartbreaking film.
Through a series of flashbacks, Fruitvale Station follows the final day in the life of Bay Area resident Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan). A loving father and ex-con with a heart of gold, Oscar is down on his luck but determined to change.
We watch as Oscar makes friends with strangers and enjoys the company of his loved ones, including his adorable daughter (Ariana Neal) and fiercely loving, suffering mother (Octavia Spencer in another powerhouse performance).
After establishing his talent as Wallace on acclaimed series The Wire, Jordan once again demonstrates his restrained ability; what could be overly sentimental or moral is purely affecting here. The emotional truth is resounding.
Through many tears it’s clear to see why Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Bring tissues.