- By Caryn James
- July 12, 2013 9:03 AM
- 0 Comments
Fruitvale Station is tense, galvanizing and a little
disappointing -- an odd combination that is easily explained. The drama, which
won both the arty Grand Jury Prize and the populist Audience Award at the
Sundance Film Festival, is brilliantly acted by Michael B. Jordan in the
fact-based story of Oscar Grant, a young
black man trying to pull his life together, who was shot to death by a white transit
cop in Oakland. His performance is matched by Octavia Spencer's as his mother. And Ryan
Coogler has directed an extremely well-made example of a certain kind of film: gritty-indie
style, full of hand-held tracking and camera-phone inserts. But Coogler's screenplay
is too neat and manipulative -- a quality that undermines the film artistically,
yet may be the key to any commercial success.
Fruitvale makes everything easy on the audience.