An Oscar for Oscar

Repeat after me:
See Fruitvale StationSee Fruitvale StationSee Fruitvale Station

I had the privilege to attend an advance press screening of Fruitvale Station this week, and it is, in a word, spectacular. It is spectacularly heartbreaking. It is spectacularly well-acted. It is spectacularly enraging. It is a spectacular example of filmmaking at its finest.

The film marks the directorial debut of Ryan Coogler, a USC Film School-educated young black man, who tells the true story of another young black man to whom fate has not been quite as kind. If you know anything about Oscar Grant, then you know a bit about Fruitvale Station already. (I’m being intenionally vague because I want you to experience its excellence firsthand.)

Fans of The Wire and Friday Night Lights will recognize lead actor Michael B. Jordan, who portrays Oscar with such complexity, control and command that surely an Oscar nomination is in his future. Fruitvale Station‘s future seems just as bright, coming off of two major wins earlier this year at Sundance, where Oscar-magnet The Weinstein Company bought rights to the film’s distribution for $2 million. And, just last month, Coogler saw his film, produced by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, win the Best First Film prize at Cannes.

So, when someone asks what you’re doing on July 26, tell them you plan to be sitting in a theater completely under the spell of Fruitvale Station. You cannot miss this.xxAT

'Fruitvale Station' actors Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, director Ryan Coogler and actress Melonie Diaz attend the Cannes Film Festival.

‘Fruitvale Station’ at Cannes: Actors Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, writer-director Ryan Coogler and actress Melonie Diaz.

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