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Fruitvale Station (2013)

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The 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.

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Writer:

Ryan Coogler
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Popularity
4,821 ( 968)
39 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael B. Jordan ... Oscar Grant
Melonie Diaz ... Sophina
Octavia Spencer ... Wanda
Kevin Durand ... Officer Caruso
Chad Michael Murray ... Officer Ingram
Ahna O'Reilly ... Katie
Ariana Neal ... Tatiana
Keenan Coogler Keenan Coogler ... Cato
Trestin George ... Brandon
Joey Oglesby ... Cale
Michael James Michael James ... Carlos
Marjorie Crump-Shears ... Grandma Bonnie (as Marjorie Shears)
Destiny Ekwueme ... Chantay
Bianca Rodriguez III Bianca Rodriguez III ... Vanessa (as Bianca Rodriguez)
Julian Keyes Julian Keyes ... Kris
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Storyline

This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant. Written by The Weinstein Company

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every step brings you closer to the edge.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fruitvale See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$386,291, 14 July 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,097,842, 27 October 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received 2 grants from the San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation in 2012: $100,000 in May for production, and $100,000 in December for post-production. See more »

Goofs

After Oscar has told Sophina about losing his job and they kiss, he moves his hand to her neck in close-up, and again in the next medium shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Oscar Grant: What's your resolution?
Sophina: I'm gonna cut carbs.
Oscar Grant: Aren't you Mexican? You can't eat nothin' Grandma makes.
Sophina: It only takes 30 days to form a habit, and then it becomes second nature.
Oscar Grant: Who says that?
Sophina: Oprah.
Oscar Grant: Okay. Oprah cool now?
Sophina: What's yours?
Oscar Grant: I wanna quit selling trees.
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Connections

Featured in The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr Fattburger
Written and Performed by Patrick Yandall
Courtesy of Aperture Music
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User Reviews

I expected better from Sundance.
30 July 2013 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Maybe not f*** up for 30 days. That's how long Oprah says it takes to form a habit, right?" Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan)

That's what Oscar tells Sophina (Melonie Diaz) about his plans after being fired for tardiness. When you know that he has already at 22 been in the state pen twice (probably selling drugs), you have to question whether he can fulfill that promise. Not to worry, because Fruitvale Station is the "inspired by" true story about Oscar's last 24 hours before being murdered by a BART policeman in the real scene shown at the outset through bystanders' cell cameras.

Fruitvale Station won the audience award at Cannes, and I'm surprised: more than half this docudrama is small set-up scenes of Oscar's playing with his daughter, helping a stray dog, advising a stranger how to fry fish and generally acting like a choir boy. Only briefly are we exposed to the drug world he is trying to avoid.

Those sentimental scenes do not help first-time director Ryan Coogler create a -balanced film; Slant magazine famously accused the film of "manipulation." I agree. However in Coogler's favor, he does an effective job showing the chaos surrounding the murder at Fruitvale Station.

Michael B. Jordan is good enough to take over from Cuba Gooding Jr. and actually make a great career rather than a Gooding mediocre one. Octavia Spencer as Grant's mother (and a producer) has the soulful mien of a woman who has seen too much already. Melanie Diaz as Grant's girlfriend, Sophina, gives a credible performance of the now clichéd suffering good woman who loves her bad boyfriend.

With such a manipulative rendering of circumstances, it's hard to believe Cannes' adulation, except that the sequence on the platform draws in sympathy regardless of the overly sentimental preparation.


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