Fruitvale Station: Review


There was not a person in the theater that did not wipe a tear. Winner of the audience award at the 2013 Sundance film festival, Fruitvale Station touches on the true story and struggle of a young man Oscar Grant, who was shot and killed in an Oakland train station in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2009. Shot and killed by a BART police officer for no worse of a crime then being a young black male. It’s a powerful film that tells you nothing good happens after midnight even if it is on New Year’s. Fruitvale Station is an attempt to give the audience the story behind the headlines.

While based on true events, it is a story about a young male who is trying to make right in the world. Change his life for the better of himself and his family. The script contains a lot in a short period of time. However nothing feels rushed, forced, or gypped. You can see Oscars change in the film and in a way connect with him even though your life may not be half as bad as his. The film piles back in fourth into moments of happiness and then moves into scenes of emotional struggle and pain. It is an actual concerning film.

The acting is undoubtedly the one thing in the film that I thought was the best. No really big name actors besides Octavia Spencer (Wanda) who plays Oscars mother in the film, and who is the emotional backbone in the movie. There is a scene with her and Oscar in San Quentin prison facility that gives you the best hard-bitten part of the film that you are going to see (in my opinion). Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar and gives a wonderful performance. He gives the audience that connection whether you are a parent, young teen, or someone who is trying to change their life for the better. Fighting his inner demons, he brings a likable and engaging aspect to the role, which makes it even more shocking when the movie finally finishes.

Because we know from the start of the film of how it is going to the end, the film still gives you that feeling of hope and the thought of Oscar making it through. Overall Fruitvale Station was one of the most emotional realistic films I have sat through in a while. It tells a sad but honest story about an awful incident, but the story of a man who will give anything to change for the better of his family. The direction and writing smacks the audience the minute the film roles. It left the audience speechless. It left me with a nasty feeling in my stomach. I give the film 5 stars because it is honest in retelling us a story of a horrid lifestyle of young Oscar Grant. It gives us every day struggles, the joy and the sadness of life brought to you by someone going through life as anyone else would. Then that train stops and you figure out the rest. What it tells us and what we forget sometimes, is that life is priceless.