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Friday, October 25, 2013
Review: Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013)
Ryan Coogler’s very affecting debut film, Fruitvale Station, has been the talk of the town since it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival before going on to screen to similar acclaim in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Riding a lot of buzz, it is set to open in Australian cinemas on November 7. This anticipated documentary-esque dramatization of the devastating true events that took place in Hayward on the 31st December 2008 and at Fruitvale Station in the early hours of January 1st 2009 is sure to provoke some pretty strong emotions.
Fruitvale Station aligns the audience with Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old African American living in Hayward, California, over the course of a single day – New Year’s Eve, the day of his mother’s (Octavia Spencer) birthday, and the day he decides to turn over a new leaf, re-commit to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), be a better father to his daughter Tatiana (Adriana Neal), and leave behind a life of crime. Despite his best intentions, he comes to the realization that these changes aren’t going to be easy. The story culminates at Fruitvale Station, following Oscar and Sophina’s night out celebrating New Year’s Eve, where Oscar and some of his friends are placed under arrest by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Officers following an altercation.