Posted: August 3, 2013 in Movies


Fruitvale Station is a heartbreaking true story of a life cut short at the point of redemption, a tragedy about how the mortal world can not live fully with grace.  The enigmatic Michael B. Jordan is blessed with sweet brown eyes, the kind that hint at deeper reservoirs of beauty and kindness shining from the hardness, the kind that let you know that in that conflicted self there is a conscience that seeks and wants the right path, a hint of a soul struggling to do better.   What happened on that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) platform in the first hours of 2009 where Oscar Grant lost his life when a transit cop could only see the shadow and the rage  and not the humanity caught momentarily in old ways attempting to be shed is a tragedy of mistaking the surfaces with the inner truth, much like that same transit cop mistaking his gun for a Taser.   First time director Ryan Coogler shows the real cam phone video of Oscar Grant’s death and then smartly echoes the technology that caught it via showing the texting, messaging, videoing, voice mailing of an ordinary troubled life trying to do the right thing, but not always succeeding– how most black men like Oscar raised in a single parent female household can be great fathers but lousy providers.  Coogler strives neither to make Oscar neither saint nor sinner, but with Michael B. Jordon’s assured performance,  something more complicated and fully fleshed out.  Through incredible understatement it all works.  Fruitvale Station gets an A.

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