65. Fruitvale Station (B+)
Finally got to see this, one of the year's earliest acclaimed films, from the 2013 Sundance Festival. Making a film of the final day in the life of Oscar Grant poses challenges: Grant's final day doesn't really have a plot arc, per se, though Coogler's screenwriting makes some attempts at creating callbacks in Oscar's final moments, which mostly work. The other big challenge, which the film also largely succeeds at, is avoiding making the whole thing feel like an extended version of the death of McBain's partner. There are a few moments that go too far in that direction, though (the widely-cited bit with the dead dog, his final conversation with his daughter). The movie's biggest strength is its superb acting, principally from Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer (a likely repeat Oscar nominee for the role; she gets the killer moment of catharsis), and Melonie Diaz (comparatively overlooked in the notices compared to her costars).
If you had given me a hundred guesses at the next likely collaboration between Jordan and writer-director Ryan Coogler, I would never have guessed that it would be a Rocky
spinoff about Apollo Creed's grandson.
Cinema: 24 (+1)
Home Video: 37