Fruitvale Station (15)
Dir: Ryan Coogler
With: Michael B Jordan, Melonie Diaz
Runtime: 85 minutes
A WINNER at Cannes and Sundance, Ryan Coogler's poignant drama was inspired by a real event that remains shocking, and shockingly relevant, today.
Oscar Grant, a young black man, had celebrated New Year's Eve 2008 with his girlfriend and friends in Oakland, California, only for their subway journey home to end in tragedy.
Coogler deftly pieces together the lead up to the incident, opening the film with real mobile phone footage from the night, while Michael B Jordan (Friday Night Lights) turns in a superb, finely tuned performance as Grant.
Glasgow Film Theatre and Cameo, Edinburgh, from tomorrow
Cheap Thrills (15)
Dir: EL Katz
With: Pat Healy, David Koechner
Runtime: 86 minutes
THIS ferociously bleak comedy has been doing a roaring trade on the film festival circuit. Be warned, it takes no prisoners. Pat Healy plays Craig, a struggling writer and general loser. While drinking to console himself, he and his buddy meet a flash, cash-waving couple (one of whom is David Koechner of Anchorman fame) who like to party hearty. It's hard to believe what follows, and a tough job to keep your dinner down at times, but there is no denying the flair with which director EL Katz executes his mission to have a go at get rich quick values.
Benny & Jolene (15)
Dir: Jamie Adams
With: Craig Roberts, Charlotte Ritchie
Runtime: 86 minutes
CRAIG Roberts has been a favourite with Scottish audiences since 2010's Submarine, the coming of age drama directed by Richard "IT Crowd" Ayoade, premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival. Roberts is still coming of age in this comedy two-hander about a boy-girl band, and still as likeable, but the material this time is stretched painfully thin. Following the titular pair (played by Roberts and the equally impressive Charlotte Ritchie) as they chase stardom the hard way, Jamie Adams's picture soon runs out of road.
Glasgow Film Theatre, June 6-12. Q&A with director on June 12.