Crash Review
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The 2006 film awards season was The Year of the Independent Film. Again and again, big-budget blockbusters found themselves losing out to films that came in off the film festival circuit. And Crash, an indie with an impressive ensemble cast, shocked everyone by winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Crash follow the interconnected lives of a multitude of characters throughout two days in LA. The District Attorney (Brendan Fraser) and his wife (Sandra Bullock) are car-jacked by two young black men. A successful TV producer (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) are harassed by a racist veteran cop (Matt Dillon), whose young partner (Ryan Phillippe) is so uncomfortable that he’s willing to humiliate himself to get reassigned. A black detective (Don Cheadle) who’s in a shaky relationship with his Hispanic partner (Jennifer Esposito) is ashamed of his meager upbringings and his delinquent brother who’s disappeared, to the extreme dismay of his mother. A Persian storeowner buys a gun to protect himself from potential thieves—like the Hispanic locksmith, whose young daughter hides under her bed to protect herself from stray bullets.

The brilliantly written script weaves the characters and their storylines together, openly acknowledging stereotypes—then boldly shattering them. None of the characters in this movie really are as they appear. Within the good lies something bad—and vice versa. None are completely strong. Or completely unafraid. Or completely innocent.

Somehow, writer/director Paul Haggis managed to make every character in this enormous cast come to life. By the end of the movie, you feel that you’ve seen inside each one. And that in itself is remarkable.

Crash will challenge your beliefs—and make you take a new look at the people around you. It’ll make you angry. It’ll make you sad. It might even make you ashamed. Most of all, it’ll make you sit up and pay attention—and it’ll make you think.

As if the thought-provoking story weren’t enough to make this movie worth your time, the spectacular cast is. Though no role is a major one, each person in each part steps up to the challenge of getting their character’s heart and soul across to the audience in a short amount of time--and each one knocks it out of the park. It’s no surprise that so many of the cast members have gained recognition for their performance. The list of those who were nominated for or won awards for their roles in this film is outstanding. But they deserve it. They’re just that good. I was especially stunned by rapper Ludacris, who blew away my expectations—and repeatedly stole his scenes. Watch for him to land a role on Law & Order once Ice T retires…

Crash may not be a light-hearted, feel-good movie, but it’s one that I highly recommend. Rarely do I agree with the Academy’s choice for Best Picture—but this year I do. Crash is truly deserving. Don’t miss it.

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