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Screens

‘Fruitvale Station’ Weaves Sublime Detail into Oscar Grant Story

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

Michael B. Jordan, already generating Oscar buzz for his portrayal


Coogler’s elegant, lean execution, his balanced portrait of a young man and his restraint in politicizing the film only serves to intensify the experience of Fruitvale Station. Hardly a scene in the film overreaches or fails to carry weight (though there is one with a stray dog that leans toward the former). Award-show buzz swirls around the director already, as it does Jordan.

Fruitvale’s cast and crew shot the film’s climactic closing scenes at the actual subway station, and Coogler began each day there with a moment of silence. The film exudes his reverence for what transpired against that wall—the murder of an innocent—in a most delicate way. Emotions aren’t browbeaten out of from the viewer; they’re naturally elicited. At the very small screening I attended, at least three people were crying audibly. One leaves the theater feeling shaken, ready to retire home, where you can hold your loved ones close and try to feel safe.

Fruitvale Station

Writ. and dir. Ryan Coogler; feat. Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer (R)
Opens July 26 at the Bijou

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