'Fruitvale Station' Movie Review
"Fruitvale Station" is hugely effective meat-and-potatoes moviemaking, and one hell of a feature film debut for writer-director
Lean (84 minutes), swift and full of life, Coogler's picture recounts a random and needless death, that of 22-year-old
The movie makes no secret of Oscar's fate. Coogler could've settled for an enraging, full-throttle melodrama, designed to boil your blood from beginning to end. But "Fruitvale Station" is better, more heartbreaking, than that.
The script follows a well-worn pattern: We spend approximately 24 hours with Oscar before the shooting, as he skitters from one part of his life to another. He's stepping out on his girlfriend, Sophina (a smashingly good and naturalistically attuned
Oscar's life in and out of prison has been a trial for his mother (
"Fruitvale Station" works because Coogler and his leading man present a many-sided protagonist, neither saint nor unalloyed sinner. He struggles to find legal work and to keep it once he's found it; likewise, and not easily, he juggles his old hell-raising self with his responsibilities as a lover, a father and a son.
When "Fruitvale Station" goes where it must go, to that train platform (
"Fruitvale Station" won two major awards at last year's
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The true story of Oscar Grant who wakes up on December 31, 2008 and decides to get a head start on his resolutions. But his resolve takes a tragic turn when BART officers shoot him. His life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area and the entire nation
"Fruitvale Station" Movie Trailer
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MPAA rating: R (for some violence, language throughout and some drug use)
Running time: 1:24
Credits: Directed and written by
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