Howdy people of the internet, time for a new film review and today I’m finally getting to review a film that us UK people had to wait a whole bloody year for; Fruitvale Station. Now I heard SO many good things about this film and how Michael B. Jordan deserved Oscar nominations for his performance and I was so hyped to see it, but there was one problem. ONLY AMERICANS GOT TO SEE THE FILM. And for the longest time I thought us UK film goers would never have the opportunity to see this film, luckily I was wrong and it finally showed up in the cinema this month on a very small release window. So what’s the film like? Well read on and find out.
So the story can be summarised as the following:
“The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.”
The film is primarily Oscar’s story and it is a very engaging and there is one of multiple emotions to be felt throughout. While the film is fairly serious, there are moments of beauty and humour which are very nice too. But the real reason this film sticks in my mind is because towards the latter part of the film starts get to get dark and raw. This film is intense and I was feeling strong and intense emotions here. What makes this really hit home is the fact that this stuff actually happened. I remember the days of racial profiling and police brutality, but seeing it portrayed in such a raw and in-your-face manner makes for an emotional response. The film doesn’t hold back and uses its archive footage well along with its filmed material too. I was repulsed, disgusted, happy and saddened by this film and the fact that it made me feel all these emotions is a testament to how good it is. By the time film ended I was in pieces, I was almost shedding and felt completely heartbroken, but it was that ending, it was done nicely.
The cast do a great job in the roles and what I love is the fact that all of them have a great repore with each other which makes for a realistic portrayal of family and friendship. Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant III is simply fantastic in this film. I was already a fan of this man before this film, but I was surprised how deep into the role he got as I never saw him as an actor, but as Oscar Grant, a young man who’s had issues and is just trying to sort his life out. Also since we see life from Oscar’s perspective and get attached to him and all of the people around him, you get to see all the different sides of him. Jordan’s acting is so good, it is very raw, intensive, subtle and playful too, the dude is very versatile. Octavia Spencer as Wanda Johnson is incredible too. What I love about Wanda is the fact that she knows her son, his good points and his faults and she loves him but also knows that she can’t always take his word as truth. Spencer is so good in this role, her performance is so beautiful and carefully handled, it is impossible to not get attached to her character.
Melonie Diaz as Sophina Mesa is also very good, you can see that Sophina cares for Oscar but because of his past actions and his lying nature that she’s finding it hard to stay with him. Diaz handles her material well and she is very believable in her role and definitely knows how to get an emotional response from you when it counts. Also Ariana Neal as Tatiana, the daughter of Oscar and Sophina is very good too. I mean most kid actors suck, it’s a fact, but Neal is so good and her portrayal of being a young, happy and smart girl is very realistic. Ahna O’Reilly as Katie is nice in the film too, her character adds some light-hearted fun to the film. And lastly Kevin Durand as Officer Caruso and Chad Michael Murray as Officer Ingram are very good in the roles, they really sold me on their aggression and disrespectful nature, it was actually kind of hard to watch.
In conclusion Fruitvale Station is an incredible film, it not only has a superb central performance from Michael B. Jordan, but it also has an interesting and engaging story to tell that will engage you on the deepest level because of its sense of realism and drama. I can easily say that if this film had come out last year in the UK it would have easily been in my top five films of 2013, fact. It is not a happy film, that’s for sure, but you would be doing yourself a disservice not to see this film.
So what did you think of Fruitvale Station? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀