Monday, June 20, 2016

979. Crash

Directed by Paul Haggis

I will try to get past my disgust that this won Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain long enough to write this review.  I mean, Chicago and then this??  Okay, I'm done.

Crash tells several interconnecting stories, some of which are more effective than others.  Among the more interesting characters are a wealthy African American couple who are humiliated by a racist police officer and a Middle Eastern store owner who fears for his family's safety.

A lot of films dealing with racism oversimplify matters to the point of absurdity, which I talked about a little in my Do The Right Thing review.  While there are definitely moments of oversimplification (particularly with Farhad) overall I think the filmmakers did a good job of depicting the more subtle moments of racism that occur in a day to day lives.  For example, when Jean, the white wife of the district attorney, walks in a different direction when she sees two black men.

Obviously, police racism and brutality are still very relevant issues.  Still, the film is somewhat bogged down by a few unnecessary characters that were seemingly there to fill out the race bingo card.  A good forty five minutes of this film could have been cut out, which would have cleaned things up considerably.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Lowest grossing Best Picture winner since The Last Emperor.

Paul Haggis himself has said that this film did not deserve to win Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain.

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