Ryan Coogler's 'Fruitvale Station' is a remarkable directorial debut.
Fruitvale Station - the new Oscar-tipped most by Ryan Coogler - tells the story of one of America's most unjust killings. In the early hours of New Year's Day, 2009, a young Bay Area kid by the name of Oscar Grant III was unarmed and lying face down on a subway platform in Oakland, California. Seconds later, he was shot in the back by a police officer.
The grainy cell phone footage captured by onlookers incited protests and unrest across the country, opening up a debate on law and order, violence and race, as noted in the New York Times. 'Fruitvale Station' - a movie snapped up by Harvey Weinstein for $2 million at the Sundance Film Festival - takes on extra significance given the roots of its director.
Coogler, 27, is a Bay Area native who went to film school at the University of South California. He remembers the incident all too well and does a stunning job of reconstructing it with the help of his cast Michael B. Jordan (The Wire), Melonie Diaz and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.
In his glowing review, Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com said, ""Fruitvale Station" is a potent dramatic chronicle of contemporary American life, crackling with energy and possibility, made with the cooperation of Grant's mother and girlfriend."
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, "Fruitvale Station is a gut punch of a movie. By standing in solidarity with Oscar, it becomes an unstoppable cinematic force."
Continuing the praise, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Made with assurance and deep emotion, "Fruitvale Station" is more than a remarkable directing debut for 26-year-old Ryan Coogler. It's an outstanding film by any standard."
The final chaotic moments of the movie is easily the most powerful and profound bit of cinema this year and 'Fruitvale Station' should be honored in some shape of form. Should the major awards fail to manifest, the movie will at least provoke the question: how could this possibly have happened?
Ryan Coogler Has Received Huge Praise For His Direction of 'Fruitvale Station'
Octavia Spencer Poses In Front of The 'Fruitvale Station' Poster
Melonie Diaz Stars Alongside Michael B. Jordan In 'Fruitvale'