Fruitvale Station (2013)
Director: Ryan Coogler | Runtime: 1h 25mins | Biography, Drama
The story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), both a Father and a Son, as he interacts with his family and friends on New Years Eve 2008.
Ryan Coogler’s directional debut is a heartbreaking true story that’s unflinching in it’s message. The most impressive thing though, is the films overwhelming build to an end that, despite anticipating it, still manages to shock the entire system and really change the pace of the film without tarnishing the overall tone. Despite this being a debut Coogler pulls out all the stops not just to tell a story, but to show everyone just how proficient he is behind the camera and how well he can build the world in just under an hour and a half, a talent that is lost in today’s filmmaking.
This film isn’t all about the ending though, without build up the impact is completely lost, and showing us the family aspect of our protagonist really helps to shape this film into the character piece it is. Coogler doesn’t build Oscar Grant as a perfect person though, he finds the flaws in his character and setting and utilises a magnificent performance from Michael B. Jordan to bring the character to life.
Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan’s frequent collaborations in recent years have been a highlight of contemporary film, but they are yet to beat their first film together, creating character and a social awareness in one of the best films of 2013. The most impressive part of Fruitvale Station though, is that it takes one of the most human stories put to film, and somehow manages to humanise it even more.