Monday, March 06, 2006

"Crash" Wins!

I was so delighted to find out that Crash (you can watch the trailer here) won best picture last night, even though I lost the Oscar pool. I didn't think it had a chance in hell to win, because it was such a brutal film about race relations in the United States. If you haven't seen this movie, you must rent it via Netflix ASAP. What I love best about this film is it totally jettisons the identity politics language of the 80s and 90s and instead deals straight up with the good, bad, and ugly of all of us, whether we are thuggish, young Black men or do-good White politicians exploiting the racial vote. No one gets off easy in this picture and you end up forgiving the most despicable characters and loathing those who seemed most honorable. All of your impressions of what race means will be thrown into question and if you can honestly confront this film, you will be changed by it.

I am also tickled that Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor. Again, I lost the Oscar pool on this, thinking Heath Ledger would get it. I thought Ledger was fantastic in Brokeback Mountain, but Hoffman is one of the best actors alive today. I cannot think of a single role he has done where I was disappointed with him.

Well, congratulations Paul Haggis. May this Oscar portend even greater work from you in the future.