Fruitvale Station (Review)
This film (based on a real incident) follows Oscar Grant on the last day of his life. He spends time with his friends and family, then takes the train into San Francisco to celebrate NYE. Michael B. Jordan creates a complex character, one who was raised right and is basically good, but struggling with challenges. The rest of the cast also convincingly inhabits their roles (esp. Octavia Spencer as the mother). At first, this personal portrait seems to wander aimlessly, but once the deadly incident happens, it takes a grippingly dramatic turn. With a moment of violent prejudice at the crux of the film, new director Ryan Coogler never revels in outrage. Nothing’s overplayed. It effectively sets up the man and his life, then powerfully crashes it down.