The cast makes the movie. Jordan, Melonie Diaz (playing his girlfriend Sophina), and Octavia Spencer (seemingly likely for another Oscar nomination as Oscar’s mom Wanda) sell both the mundane family life and the horrifying tragedy, pulling through the occasional weaknesses in the script (mostly overly obvious foreshadowing). Those weaknesses are understandable for a first film, and Coogler’s script does get major points for research. From all accounts, it seems the movie’s quite accurate to the true story, with a few names changed and minor fictionalized scenes; the most notable inaccuracy seems to be mistaking Wall-E for a 2007 release instead of a 2008. I wonder if the movie could have had a bit more of an epilogue; I wanted to know more about how Oscar’s family were after the fact. I guess me wanting to know more means the movie has done its job. Fruitvale Station is not only a good movie, but an important one.
Fruitvale Station opens in Boston Friday July 26th.