FRUITVALE STATION is a very powerful and moving film about the day leading up to the tragic death of Oscar Grant on the subway platform at Fruitvale Station. The movie begins with cellphone footage of the event culminating with a gunshot, so there is no question that we are about to watch this young man’s last day on Earth. Even knowing where the story is going still doesn’t prepare you for the inevitable conclusion of the story.
The brilliance of this film is that we are introduced to Oscar (played in a career making performance by Michael B. Jordan) and we understand right away that this is a deeply flawed individual. He is in no way a classical hero, he is simply human with all the foibles that go along with that. Nowhere living up to his full potential, he still is a good soul and can recognize his shortcomings.
During the day we witness all facets of him both good and bad revealing someone who we might not agree with all the time, but deeply care about. We are also introduced to his friends and family who only want the best for him even when tough love is required.
The events that lead up to tragedy are so senseless that it makes it all the more painful to experience. The film also deftly handles the aftermath of the shooting, witnessed from the family’s point of view. FRUITVALE STATION lives up to the hype and is certainly one of the best films of the year.