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Jan Wahl Movie Review: 'Fruitvale Station'

Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant in 'Fruitvale' (credit: The Weinstein Company)

(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews "Fruitvale Station", the story of the last days of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), and how he went from a man with a mission to change his life for the better, to shot dead at a BART station on New Year's Day.

KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:

Jan Wahl Movie Review: Fruitvale Station (R)


In the summer, a lot of people want escapism at the movies. But, many of us are getting burnt out by moronic super heroes, monsters or vacuous teens. With Fruitvale Station we get a cinematic trip worth taking. It's a controversial, emotional story, but because nobody is demonized or sainted, it works as a story and as a movie.

We meet Oscar Grant on the last day of his life, a young man trying to get out from under prison, a bad temper and unemployment. He's going to make a new start, and we root for him, especially his devotion to his daughter and mother.

Though we know what's going to happen, we are connected to a story that feels real and as multi-layered as life itself. The acting is believable, especially Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer pulling us into their humanity and fear. But, it's really Writer/Director Ryan Coogler who makes this film universal. At this time of cinematic waste, it's important to remember that good movies can illuminate and touch us. Look for this one at Oscar time.

Four hats.

Movies To See Right Now: 20 Feet from Stardom, The Way, Way Back, The Heat & Monsters University

Home Viewing/DVD: Quartet, Venus and Serena, Chasing Mavericks & Admission

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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