Sunday, March 05, 2006

On hating Crash

I was going to write a post about how much I hate Crash and how terrible it would be for it to win anything at the Oscars, and how appalling it is that it's hoodwinked so many people into thinking it's not only a good movie, but also a Very Important one, and how my hatred for the film only grows the more I hear about it. But I can't imagine that I could possibly do a better job than Matt Zoller Seitz did at articulating what's so heinous about this film. And Defamer has been making a habit of deriding it at every possible chance for months now. (My original review seems sort of mild in light of how much this film has come to bother me.) Karina Longworth also does a good job of explaining how such a terrible film might have just the right formula to convince the out of touch Academy members that it deserves to be rewarded as the best picture of the year. The buzz has been building for a while now on movie websites and blogs about the potential Crash upset, and while I do still believe that Brokeback Mountain will win (and I'll be picking it in my Oscar pool), no less a prominent and connected personage than the New York Times' Oscar blogger David Carr has named it his pick for Best Picture.

And so what? As I and most other critics and cinephiles say over and over like a mantra, the Oscars are worthless. Right? A regular reader recently pointed out to me a list of lame movies that have won Best Picture over the years. Obviously the Academy rarely rewards the actual "best" movies of the year. But I can't think of another Best Picture winner (granted I've seen far from all of them) that I felt such visceral hatred for, one that I thought was not only a mediocre or even bad film, but an offensive one. It would really genuinely sadden me to think that this one movie, out of the hundreds that were released in 2005, was picked by the most high-profile organization as the best of the year.

But, despite the outcry in the film blogosphere, I'm still in the minority on this. Rotten Tomatoes lists the reviews as 77% positive. Roger Ebert thinks the film is in the same league as Dickens. And my mail on the subject has been fairly evenly divided between people thanking me for the oasis of my negative opinion in the desert of praise for the film and, well, people like this guy:

Needless to say you are the most spectacular turd brained douche-bag on the face of the earth. I just watched CRASH and it was one of the most moving film experiences of my life. That you gave this film a bad review only goes to show that you are to film criticism what Adolph Hitler was to humanitarianism. That is to say infinitely lacking.
Maybe he'll end up happy come Oscar time. I'm not sure what that would mean for the state of movies, though.


Leenz said...

Great blog! Although I have to say that I loved Crash (sorry!) I thought it was provoking, well structured and fantastically acted. It seemed to have every element of how racism affects everyone, not just the person who is the instigator but also the victims, and how it comes around full circle but also how it changes people.

I do agree with you on the Academy Awards being a load of bollocks! I mean, Forest Gump over Pulp Fiction AND Shawshank Redemption for Best Picture?? What's that about?

Josh said...

Well, go in peace with your love of Crash. I'm pretty much debated out on that one, honestly. Even if you liked the movie, though, I think it's clear that there were many other better films in 2005 that were overlooked in favor of it. Which, as you say, is pretty much par for the course.