Wednesday, March 8

Crashed

I saw Crash. I didn't much care for it. I thought it was boring and heavy-handed and all News flash! Everyone, everywhere, all men and women are prejudiced pricks and everyone suffers for it.

Pardon my yawns.

I realize my opinion has little to no weight, naturally, but, that said, my feelings on the movie may have been swayed by my general demeanor while watching it last week (it was a bad week). For god's sake, I laughed when the little girl was "shot" and the camera zoomed in on the dad yelling "Noooo!" What a yuk-tastic moment for cynics with black hearts. Sorry, but the music and the camera work and the anticlimactic explosion of sorrow for the devastation of innocence ... yeah, I just can't get into it.

But I suppose I am alone in not liking it. Everyone I know liked it.

I just don't get it.

It's not like I was rooting for Brokeback or some other flick to win the statue. I didn't even see the other three nominated films. Regardless, I don't feel like Brokeback was the best picture of the year, though it was a good flick. What was the best, I can't say. But if the best film was Crash, it must've been a dismal, dismal year for film. I guess that's what we were told all year, of course. What a self-fulfilling prophecy that turned out to be.

I think the L.A. Times' Carina Chocano got it right with this:

What really makes you want to screw up your eyes, clap your hands over your ears and belt out a show tune, though, is the nagging feeling that Haggis, a Canadian who has resided in this city for most of his adult life and who suffered a traumatic real-life encounter with a pair of armed carjackers a few years ago, seems to have experienced some misplaced guilt over his lingering low opinion of the gentlemen who took his car, followed by anger at the guilt, more guilt at the anger, and so on. I'm only guessing, of course, but upon meditating on the lives of his assailants — what were they like in their free time, when they weren't sticking guns in people's faces? — the director has written them a funny valentine. They are reborn in his imagination as a couple of charming, clever, philosophical, socially committed young car thieves who, when not busy jacking SUVs, enjoy ice hockey, Merle Haggard and liberating smuggled Asian sweatshop workers into the free market wonderland of downtown L.A.


It does seem like a funny valentine. A plea of "Can't we all just get along?" called out from behind bulletproof glass.

And this, this is spot-on:

As another critic once said about another movie bearing the same title, " 'Crash' isn't plotted, it's programmed.' " The logarithm is fairly simple: Money plus power plus a pale complexion equals total inhumanity. (Jean learns the hard way that her only friend in the world is the woman who cleans her house.) Power plus pallor minus money fares slightly better. (Ryan's bigotry is motivated by the suffering of his sick father, who lost his janitorial company when the city began giving preferential contracts to minority-owned businesses, and he gets his moment of slo-mo redemption.) Pallor minus power minus money plus small-town idealism (as embodied by Hansen) gets a kick in the head.


A movie about racist paper dolls, really.

There's more about the movie trafficking liberal guilt here.

3 Comments:

Blogger oskiesmom said...

Shocked it won. Couldn't muster a rave for it either. The background music was positively grating. 3 stars (out of 4)

Wed Mar 08, 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

I'm...so...ronery. I'm ronery. I'm so ronesome I could die.

Thu Mar 09, 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

I could probably give it three stars too. But out of five.

Amber, don't be ronery! You've got America and the Academy on your side.

Thu Mar 09, 11:12:00 AM  

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