Arriving on the heels of the George Zimmerman trial, this is a fact-based movie about another horrific incident: the fatal shooting of an unarmed, young black man by an Oakland, California transit cop. It happened on the morning of New Year’s Day, 2009, and sparked protests and violence around the San Francisco area.
Michael B. Jordan (who played Wallace in “The Wire”) is Oscar Grant, a 22-year old with a loving girlfriend, Sophina (Melonie Diaz) and a cherubic daughter, Tatiana (7-year old Ariana Neal). But Oscar is no saint. When we first encounter him, Sophina is furious over an affair he’s had with another woman. He’s just lost his job at a supermarket for chronic lateness, and (speaking of chronic) he’s got an ounce of marijuana to peddle.