Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Fruitvale Station

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drugs and drug dealing
Violence/Scariness:Real-life footage (not graphic) of a fatal shooting, fighting
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:July 19, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 14, 2014
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use
Profanity: Very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, drugs and drug dealing
Violence/Scariness: Real-life footage (not graphic) of a fatal shooting, fighting
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date: July 19, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014

The sadly timely release of Sundance award-winner “Fruitvale Station” begins with the shocking real-life cell phone footage shot in a San Francisco subway station on New Year’s Eve 2008.  A young black man named Oscar Grant was handcuffed and lying on the ground when he was shot and killed by a policeman.fruitvale-station

We then go back in time to see how Grant (a star-making performance by Michael B. Jordan of “The Wire”) spent the last day of his life.  First-time writer-director Ryan Coogler creates an intimate, documentary feeling to the story, candid in its portrayal of a young man who has made some mistakes (he was a drug dealer, he has served time in prison, he cheated on his girlfriend, he gets fired for being late).  But, with a transcendent performance by Jordan, we see that Grant was a devoted son and father who wants very much to be the man his mother, girlfriend, and daughter deserve.


YouTube Preview Image

We follow him through the day, seeing him charmingly assist a woman at the grocery story by calling his grandmother to advise her on a recipe, celebrating at the birthday party for his mother (Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer), and defusing a tense situation with a store owner.  And all that time, we know he will be dead in the earliest hours of 2009. By the time it happens, we are different people than we were the first time we saw him get shot.  We care about Oscar in a way that will make it harder to jump to conclusions about a young black man ever again.


Parents should know that this film includes some strong language, sexual references and situations, drug dealing, and a shocking murder.

Family discussion: Why was Oscar Grant shot?  Do you agree with the punishment for the man who shot him?  How does this relate to the debate over the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin case?

If you like this, try:  Melonie Diaz in “Raising Victor Vargas”


Previous Posts

Independent Spirit Nominees 2015
The Spirit Awards are like the Oscars for independent films. Some of them have big stars and some are distributed by big studios. Some are made by first-time filmmakers on budgets that would barely pay for one day's catering fees on a studio ...

posted 7:49:50pm Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The most romantic movie of the year is "Carol," based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the author of Strangers on a Train and The ...

posted 5:54:13pm Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The Good Dinosaur
"The Good Dinosaur" is the good movie. Not the great movie. Not the especially memorable movie. Just the perfectly nice and pleasant movie, much ...

posted 5:43:47pm Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Rocky had to find the eye of the tiger. When we first met him back in 1976, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) was an amiable, ...

posted 5:18:44pm Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Is "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" the Worst Movie of All Time?
It was a lot of fun to talk to Libby Coleman about "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever." In an article for Ozy, Coleman says that by one standard it is the worst film of all time (or at least since the internet began keeping track) -- it has 115 negative ...

posted 10:29:10am Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.