Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
The events portrayed in Fruitvale Station (2013, Rated R, Available On DVD) took place in The Hurricane's part of the country, the lovely place we call The Bay Area in California. The Hurricane loves it there, but she did not go to see Fruitvale Station with her friends. She thought it would upset her too much, and after watching the DVD, I understand her feelings. It's an intense, emotional movie.
The movie purportedly tells the story of the last day in the life of a young man named Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) on December 31st, 2008. Oscar's life isn't going too well. He's 22 years old and not long out of prison. He knows he needs to be a better father to his four-year-old daughter and a better man for his girlfriend, the child's mother Sophina (Melonie Diaz).
On New Year's Eve, Oscar and Sophina plan on driving into San Francisco so they can enjoy the city's celebration. Oscar's mother, Wanda (Octavia Spencer, Academy Award winning actress for her role as Minnie in The Help), begs Oscar to take the BART into the city. She's sure he'll be safer on the BART.
Sadly, controversial events occur at the Fruitvale BART station, and Oscar never returns home. I hate to tell you more than that because I don't want to ruin the movie for you.
Michael B. Jordan is excellent, giving an understated yet moving performance as Oscar. Octavia Spencer absolutely glows, whether she's happy or grieving. What a beautiful actress she is.
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station debuted at The Sundance Film Festival, where it won The Grand Jury Prize "for its skillful realization, its devastating emotional impact and its moral and social urgency." The movie went on to win multiple awards from film festivals all over the world.
Quite simply, it's beautifully made. It's not a blockbuster, over-the-top movie. It's simple and moving. We gradually get to know Oscar better so we can see him as more than a news headline.
Fruitvale Station earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.
I won't wish you happy viewing because this movie isn't happy. Instead, I wish you informed and thoughtful viewing. I didn't know about Oscar Grant until I saw Fruitvale Station. Watching it led me to research what happened to Grant, and I hope you'll do the same.
Spoiler Alert: After I wish you infinities of love, I'm going to scroll down, down, and down so I can provide you with a piece of information you might not want to read until after you see the movie.
Fruitvale Station is not for children. You can probably watch it with older teens, but if you do, I urge you to sit down at the computer with your child so you can learn more about the real Oscar Grant.
Infinities of love,
Spoiler Alert: The sequence at Fruitvale Station was filmed on the exact spot where Oscar Grant was shot. The bullet hole was still in the floor.
Hmm, I have never heard of this. Interesting. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I didn't know about Oscar Grant until I saw the trailer for the movie.Delete
Well, now, in order to comment, I had to scroll down and be exposed to said spoiler. But I knew what the movie was about and the event upon which it was based, so it's not like a real spoiler. That's like saying "Spoiler: Harvey Milk dies at the end of the movie Milk." I don't think it's possible to spoil movies based on real events, is it?ReplyDelete
Dumb-da-dumb-dumb-dumb! Next time I'd better put the spoiler in a different post. I think a movie based on real events can be spoiled when one doesn't know the story. I didn't know about Oscar Grant until I saw the movie. Most young people probably don't know who Harvey Milk was.Delete
I think I'm with the Hurricane on this one----it sounds like a tough one to watch. I'm happy to hear they did a beautiful job with it though.ReplyDelete
It is a bit hard to watch, but I wanted to know what the big deal was.Delete
Such a sad story. I have a feeling the story may be too tragic for me!ReplyDelete
It's sad but very moving.Delete
His memory will live on. I hope that is of some comfort to his mother, girlfriend, and baby.ReplyDelete
They also received quite a large settlement. Money doesn't make up for the loss of a human being, but it's certainly easier to raise a child when one has money.Delete
How can you comment without seeing the spoiler? It's okay. The Hurricane is a tough chick, isn't she? If she can't handle it, I'm sure I can't. But thank you for the review. Have a nice day.ReplyDelete
I saw About Time recently. I thought you had recommended it, but couldn't find it on your blog. It was good. I saw it 1 1/2 times.
Yeah, I didn't think clearly about the spoiler. Next time I'll put it in its own post. The Hurricane is a tough but sensitive chick. She can't stand to see people mistreated. I think I mentioned About Time in a comment, but I haven't reviewed it yet. It's great!Delete
I missed this when it came out, but because of you I'll give it a second look.ReplyDelete
I am honored, Sir.Delete
Sounds like a really moving interesting film.ReplyDelete
Interesting and very moving.Delete
Excellent movie. Honest portrayal by a young actor we will probably hear a lot more of. Tough to watch, but life isn't always pretty with happy endings and this was a real situation. Sometimes the only way changes are made is from closely examining ugliness in the light.ReplyDelete
Michael B. Jordan is great. The film is more effective because he doesn't play up the drama. He just lets it unfold so we see how frustrating his life is.Delete
The movie re-opened wounds in the Bay Area which had been polarized by both sides during the lead up to and conduct of the legal case. I gather, tho, Grant was portrayed as a complex person, neither devil nor angel. In many ways, the Grant case was similar to the Zimmerman case.ReplyDelete
What is clear from both tragedies: public agencies need to train sworn officers, transit cops like Ofcr Mesherle, and esp Neighborhood watch "patrollers" like Zimmerman to regard all citizens as complex human beings—not stereotypes—so that even in split second decision-making, justice has a chance.
Oscar Grant is not portrayed as an angel in the movie. Rather, he's someone who is struggling to keep his head above water and not always making good decisions.Delete