Feb 22, 2006
Being a film enthusiast by nature and by education, you can imagine how disappointed I was at the announcement of Oscar nominations that I had not seen any of the five films nominated for Best Picture. I have made my way through three of the films, and I can say without hesitation that Crash is the most complex and profound of the bunch.
Writer/director Paul Haggis tells the stories of over a dozen characters making their way through 36 hours in the harsh and racist environment of Los Angeles. These characters include two city investigators, two car thieves, the D.A. and his high-maintenance wife, a television director, a racist cop and his indignant partner, a repairman. All the performances are powerful, and many showcase popular actors cast against type: especially Brendon Fraser, Sandra Bullock, and Matt Dillon.
I would go so far as to say that the main character in Crash is Providence. As the individual stories intersect in surprising ways, it is impossible not to consider the force behind such awesome coincidences. Despite their best attempts to isolate themselves from the world around them, Providence causes them quite literally to crash into one another. In fact, Haggis opens the film with Don Cheadle's character musing about this isolation after being rear-ended: “We miss that sense of touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.”