Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray
Release date: To be determined
In addition to potentially turning Friday Night Lights graduate Michael B. Jordan into a full-on movie star, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale could be one of the year's most harrowing and emotionally devastating indies. Its story certainly invites the adjectives.
Based on real events, Fruitvale focuses on Oscar Grant (Jordan), a 22-year-old guy living in the Bay Area and raising his young daughter, whom his mother knows nothing about. But on New Year's Day 2009, at the Fruitvale subway station, Grant is shot to death by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department) officers. The public captured the shooting on camera phones.
It's a little-known American tragedy that deserves the attention of a feature. The fact that the Weinstein Company scooped it up at Sundance, with plans for a big theatrical unveiling, guarantees that it'll be seen, too. Add a charismatic actor like Jordan as its anchor, and Fruitvale should leave no heartstring un-plucked.