And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Fruitvale Station

You know from the opening of Fruitvale Station that it is going to end very badly. Based on a true story, it begins with what appears to be cellphone footage of a group of Bay Area transit cops abusing a bunch of young black men, and the scene escalates to the point where one of the men is shot, face down on the floor, in the back. The rest of the film flashes back to follow Oscar Grant III, the 22-year-old victim of this senseless crime, through what turns out to be the last day of his young life. It is impossible to watch without thinking of another unarmed young man who was killed recently, and one of the great strengths of this film is that it humanizes without sugarcoating the victim’s life; it gives a fleshed-out personality to what would otherwise just be another sad statistic.