Fruitvale Station (2013) Review


The true story of Oscar Grant, a 22 year old who on December 31st 2008 would be crossing paths with friends, family and enemies all leading up to an ill fated encounter with Police Officers at Fruitvale Station.


Considering this film was released in 2013 and the awful event happened 2008 and into the start of 2009, I have to say that I had never actually heard of it all. So I guess the importance of the film to show ill treatment from police officers is even more important. Although I am based in the UK so it probably would not have really been reported much at the time.

The film can therefore be viewed as a tribute to Oscar Grant and how he had made mistakes, just like any other person but he was working very hard to turn his life around and become a better father, son and boyfriend. He had let things slip away and he wanted to help improve all of this, he had been in prison and did not want to let his four year old daughter down anymore.

We are shown through his life and those around him in particular the three women closest to him. This was I guess very reassuring to watch unfold as he was going to change everything for the better. The chance to actually do that though was ripped away from him, 22 is no age at all and the fact that the shooting was recorded and the police officer pretty much got away with it was extremely shocking and well quite frankly out of order. Despite being charged with involuntary manslaughter he only served 11 months in prison with the other officers being fired. Important to note that they changed the names for the film!

This caused many protests and riots across the city which is certainly expected when you see that nothing was really done wrong and everything was blown out of proportion. This contributed to the Black Lives Matter movement! It makes for quite a tough watch at times due to already knowing the outcome before the start of the film.

Michael B. Jordan was outstanding in the leading role though and I can fully understand why his career in the past few years has gone from strength to strength I really enjoyed watching him in this very different role. Octavia Spencer did her usual scene stealing as his mother and I thought her performance was very real. The prison scene where she was walking out after telling hims she would no longer be coming to see him was rather heartbreaking with an amazing exchange between the pair.

I guess the only way to finish this review is to say forever rest in peace Oscar Grant.

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