No Oscar at the Oscars: My Letter of Solace to Fruitvale Station Film

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Dear Fruitvale Station,

Its too bad that you didn’t get your props er, proper appreciation, from the Oscars. But know that I got you. There’s no doubt you were among the very best for me in 2013. So as we inch up to the big day, I’ll always be confused about why things didn’t jump off for you better.

The elements were in place: a ripped-from-the-headlines story of a man unlawfully killed by the law; a scrappy director and cast that was the talk of the town at Sundance a year ago when you snatched the Grand Jury Prize; the backing of the Weinstein Brothers film company; Oscar winner Forest Whitaker as Executive Producer and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer in a key supporting role. It don’t get much more sure-shot Hollywood than that.

You told a real story that was so fresh and poignant and dramatic. And even though some of us knew how the story would end — Oscar Grant needlessly killed by a BART system police officer in Oakland — we were still gripped at all of the events that led to that fateful moment and got a glimpse into the story of this everyday man doing his everyday thang. A story that caused deserved protests and public outcry and called law enforcement processes into question. Folks like Color of Change, Occupy Oakland, NAACP, and the Advancement Project have maintained their vigilance about what justice for Oscar means.

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