Here’s the rare kind of movie that actually gets under your skin. Crash (2005) is written, produced and directed by Paul Haggis, who was nominated for the Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation for Million Dollar Baby. And Haggis is every bit as powerful a director and filmmaker as he is a writer.
This cinematic journey, emblazened by an impeccable ensemble cast who deliver astounding performances (Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton, Terrance Howard, and others), takes on the complexly human under-belly of racism as expressed in the lives of a broad cross-section of characters — from Persian immigrants to car-jackers, from the LA District Attorney to an African American TV director, and from a Hispanic locksmith to a number of LA police officers.
Most notably, this is no simplistic morality tale. Bad guys can be good guys (and visa versa). Miracles do sometimes happen. And some people are just angry all the time. I’m grateful for a true artist who can craft a cinematic mirror that reflects life in an scarely honest way. I found this experience especially valuable because Crash is courageous enough to shine its light into places that many of us would prefer to deny exist, but which need our attention… desperately. “This shit ain’t right” and more of us need to say so.
Thank you, Mr. Haggis, for one of the finest films I’ve seen in a long time. Highly recommended!