Fruitvale Station

August 4th, 2013


Fruitvale Station

Octavia Spencer at event of Fruitvale StationStill of Melonie Diaz and Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale StationMelonie Diaz at event of Fruitvale Station

The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 7.5/10 (2,547 voted)

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This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant.

Taglines: Every step brings you closer to the edge.


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Release Date:

Filming Locations: Oakland, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $386,291 (USA) (12 July 2013)

Gross: $7,339,206 (USA) (30 July 2013)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In addition to playing the role of Oscar's mother, Wanda, Octavia Spencer was a co-executive producer for this movie. One of her tasks in that capacity was to attract investors for the film, and one of the people from whom Spencer did secure financing was Kathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling novel The Help. Spencer, who starred as "Minnie" in (and won an Oscar for) the screen adaptation of Stockett's novel, had been friendly with Stockett since meeting her in LA in the early 2000s; Stockett had based the character of Minnie on Spencer. Stockett was the only investor to receive a "Very Special Thanks" credit at the end of Fruitvale Station (all the others received only "The filmmakers would like to thank") credits. See more »

User Review


Rating: 9/10

This film depicts story of a deeply flawed young man struggling to turn his life around. The movie reveals the generous good-hearted nature of Oscar, on whose life the story is based. The awards the film has won are well deserved, as the film-maker succeeds in presenting an unsparing look at Oscar's many failings even as he humanizes this young man whose life is largely unknown to the American public. In a quite amazing fashion, all of this is done through the lens of a single day in Oscar's life, with only the aid of one brief flash-back.

Despite his efforts and his kindness, Oscar is failing to transcend his past as much as he is succeeding in doing so. His struggle to change is fueled by his relationships with three women central to his life, and we are on the edge of our seats watching his relationships play out with them, knowing before the movie begins how it will end. It is a credit to the film-maker that he is able both to maintain that tension and at the same time to draw us into Oscar's world so effectively. This craftsmanship only underlines the tragedy of the final outcome more starkly.

It is sad that the review that wins pride of place on this website ignores Oscar and focuses on Officer Mehserle, who appears only briefly in the movie. The film does not demonize Officer Mehserle, and one might be tempted to do, but rather presents him as a blank slate. Surely, as those who witnessed the events appeared to do, and as the jury who found him guilty corroborated, we might well assume that he committed a crime. However, his motives are not suggested in the movie, his youth is clearly depicted, and his inexperience implied. Surely any professional, a doctor for example, who makes a mistake of motor memory under pressure and thus takes the life of another human being, should be held accountable for her actions to the full extent of the law.


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