By Lorena Alvarez
In the wake of the George Zimmerman trial and the struggle to find justice for Trayvon Martin, Ryan Coogler’s award-winning indie film “Fruitvale Station” comes at just the right time to advance the conversation about race relations in America. Continue reading
By Mofida Abdelmageed
“The Way Way Back,” a dramatic comedy directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, tackles ongoing conflicts between teens and adults. Continue reading
By Christian Cordova-Pedroza
“The Way Way Back,” is a melodramatic comedy directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash that focuses on the issues of youth in dysfunctional families and the inevitable tensions that arise between parents and their adolescent children. Continue reading
By Sara Solano
New York, N.Y.
Let me ask you something: On a scale of one to 10, what do you think you are?” Trent asks Duncan. “I don’t know . . . a six?” Duncan replies. Trent’s response is harsh: “I think you’re a three,” he says.
It’s the first scene of “The Way, Way Back” and already we are learning that Duncan, 14, has a difficult relationship with Trent, his mother’s boyfriend. Right away, audience members will sympathize with Duncan, who is en route to Trent’s summerhouse. What follows is a fantastic story about divorce, teenage years, love and self-realization. Continue reading
By Ellen Pham
“The Way, Way Back” resonates with anyone who has ever struggled to find a place to belong. In other words, it’s a movie everyone can relate to. It’s far from a perfect film, but it has enough redeeming qualities to make it worth seeing. Continue reading
By Imani Ford
As he picks up a blunt and takes a long drag, Oscar turns to his girlfriend Sophina and says, “I want you and Ti-Ti forever.” Twenty-two year old Oscar Grant, the focus of the critically acclaimed Sundance winner “Fruitvale Station,” is not perfect—far from it. In one of the first scenes, for instance, we find out—even as he professes his love for both Sophina and his daughter Ti-Ti—that Oscar has cheated.
This initially negative portrayal of Oscar, played by Michael B. Jordan, may alarm certain audience members; within the first 10 minutes, the film begins to paint another stereotypical caricature of African-American communities. But while certain characteristics of Oscar fit the stereotype, far more defy common expectations—allowing viewers to see him as a real person and to realize that the injustice he eventually suffers could happen to anyone. It’s just one of the many ways in which this brilliant film excels. Continue reading
By Allyson Chavez
New York, N.Y.
A director who refuses to paint his main character as a Christ figure actually depicts that character as something much more important: a complicated, real human being. In other words, someone who is not at all a stereotype.
That certainly isn’t true for the rest of the characters in director Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station”—a true story about a man named Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan) who is unjustly killed by police in Oakland. Continue reading