Anyone who followed the news in 2009 already knows how this will end: BADLY! I really, really did NOT want to screen this movie because it's based on a true, news-making tragedy that took place in the Bay Area early in the morning of New Year's Day, 2009. Based on a script by writer/director Ryan Coogler, we follow Oscar Grant as he goes through December 31, 2008, the last day of his messed-up life.
- * Michael B. Jordan ("Parenthood" and "Red Tails") is terrific as Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old who has several things going on in his life: A mother who loves him; a girlfriend who is trying to forgive; a daughter he adores; the loss of his job; and rent that is due.
- * Melonie Diaz (Lots of TV) is Oscar's concerned fiancée. She can see him clearly, but still loves him.
- * Ariana Neal ("Footloose") is Oscar's daughter; she tries to talk him out of his New Year's party because she is afraid.
- * Octavia Spencer ("The Help") is marvelous as Oscar's mother, who talks him into riding the train on New Year's Eve because he and his friends will be celebrating the holiday.
- * Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill") and Kevin Durand ("Lost") as the transit officers who pull the trigger.
My companion felt Oscar was really trying to turn his life around. His main motivation was his love for his family, which in turn made him reexamine his behavior. This still didn't dull his hair-trigger temper, but he seemed to be moving in the right direction.
If there is a lesson here, it would be: Keep your life in order because you never know when it may end.