I haven’t seen all of the Best Picture nominations for this year’s Academy Awards. Specifically I have yet to see either Brokeback Mountain or Capote. I saw Good Night, and Good Luck a few nights ago and found it to be a very thought provoking film and worthy of being considered as the best picture of 2005.
Last night I saw Crash. I’m not sure how anyone having seen it could argue that it isn’t deserving of any award it might have won. It is a very powerful picture that left both my wife and I with lumps in our throats and thinking deeply about race relations and general human nature in our times.
In a recent article on CNN.com the author of Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx, bashes the Academy for voting for Crash and even goes so far as to insult the quality of the film.
“Rumour has it that Lionsgate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash — excuse me — Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline,” Proulx writes.
‘Brokeback’ author: We were robbed
I don’t want to suggest that Ms. Proulx has lost her faculties so I’ll just assume that her emotion over losing out to Crash for the Best Picture Oscar overwhelmed her taste in motion pictures and her sense of good manners. There is absolutely no way to call this film “trash” with a straight face. It is a very strong examination of how everyone of us can be touched by racism. Both racism aimed at us, and racism that dwells within us even when we try to prevent it from taking up residence there.
Each of the characters in the movie is both a victim of racism and a purveyor of it. None of them are portrayed as cut and dried heros or villains. Its not a film that is trying to demonize one group or the other. The film seems to be trying to wake us up to the destructive nature of hate and fear. It doesn’t really offer any solutions either. Its a troubling film that leaves you wondering what the answers are. In the end it leaves you to mull over your own feeling and intentions and if you are like me thinking about incidents in your own life.