FRUITVALE STATION: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, directed by Ryan Coogler (85 min.)
It's nearly impossible to overstate the number of times I have left a film physically, emotionally, and literally shaken. Films can be powerful, great, exciting, thrilling, so on and so forth. They can leave a lasting impact, they can win all the awards, they can be forever remembered as a classic. But I can count on one hand the number of films that affected me in the way Fruitvale Station did. The breakout Sundance hit from earlier in the year deserves every ounce of praise it receives. This true story of a true tragedy will shake viewers to the absolute core. If you are like me, and you are growing weary of the bloated Hollywood blockbuster system, of the 800-pound gorilla whose odor is beginning to seep out of the summer multiplexes, Fruitvale Station is a film that will restore your faith in the power of independent films and filmmakers.
Even the credits weren't enough to get me out of my seat. As Fruitvale Station ended I sat, stunned by this film, and more importantly collecting myself and my thoughts before trying to get back into the world. Here is a powerful bit of filmmaking from great new talents in director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, who is compelling as Oscar. Films like Fruitvale Station are rare things, important films that are just as entertaining as they are emotionally devastating, tense, and unforgettable. I will not soon forget the story of Oscar Grant, and as the final scene of the picture shows us, the people affected by this tragedy in New York will not soon forget him either.