Sundance Review: Fruitvale


Director:Ryan Coogler

Cast:Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer

Running Time:97 Minutes


Fruitvale director
Ryan Coogler is 26 years old. This is his first feature-length film. Trust me, Fruitvale is not the work of a 26-year-old
first-time director. This is a film by a mature, sophisticated veteran.

Telling the true story of Oscar
Grant, a young man whose life was cut short when he was shot and killed by a
police officer on New Year's Eve 2009, the film is personal, intelligent, and
heart breaking. The three leads give phenomenal performances, with Michael B.
Jordan as Oscar Grant, Melonie Diaz as his fiancée Sophina, and Octavia Spencer
as his mother Wanda. Jordan, with guidance from writer/director Coogler,
depicts Grant, not as a perfect human, but a deeply flawed man struggling to be
better. These people are humans. Grant's shooting is unfair and terrible, but
we don't get the sense that Grant was a saint in his life; he was a regular
screw-up like the rest of us. This is a movie with heart, but it is not afraid
to break yours.


About Shayne Lechelt


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