The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Crash (2005)

I've complained about a lot of films that deal with race, so I'm delighted to wholeheartedly reccomend one.  Paul Haggis' CRASH deals with one 24-hour period in Los Angeles, with people of many ethnicities colliding in an "impersonal" city, yearning for some kind of contact.  And contact they make.  Alternately they are humiliated, ennobled, embarassed, terrified, threatened, and in one case, killed.  The acting, even by rapper "Ludicris", is uniformly excellent.  Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Thandie Newton...not a star turn in the bunch, and in some cases (for instance Matt Dillon) the work is devastating.  No easy answers here...except perhaps to notice how much of the human damage is motivated by fear disguised as anger, or how often simple courtesy might have changed the outcome of terrible events.  Compare this to 1991's GRAND CANYON, a similarly themed, well-intentioned but far more 2-dimensional film.  Have we really learned so much so quickly?  I hope so, for it bodes well.  I give this one a solid "A"

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