It’s a film whose merits have been dissected ad naseam (on this blog over the years, and elsewhere, on- and offline), so I won’t bother with yet another dissertation on it. However, don’t let me stop you from dishing out yours (whether pro or con), if you need to.
I’ll just say that, in short, I didn’t particularly care for the film – a rather superficial, overstated, moralistic tale full of simplistically-drawn archetypes – and was dumbfounded when it won the Oscar for best picture in 2005. For those of you who feel/felt the same way, you might like to know that your reactions to the film have been validated (somewhat), thanks to new revelations by the writer and director of the film, Paul Haggis, who, as he shared in an interview with Hitflix, published today, wasn’t quite a believer either.
In the interview, which is really about his forthcoming HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” Haggis admitted that he thought the other films that were in contention for the Best Picture Oscar in 2005, were superior to his: “You shouldn’t ask me what the best film of the year was because I wouldn’t be voting for ‘Crash,’” he said, adding, “only because I saw the artistry that was in the other films.”
He did express his appreciation for the Oscar win, as well as the fact that the film apparently touched people, reasoning that this may have been why the Academy members voted for the film: “So I guess that’s what they voted for, something that really touched them […] People still come up to me more than any of my films and say, ‘That film just changed my life.'” But Haggis recognizes that there is a distinction between a film’s impact and its merit as a work of art, as, ultimately, reading the interview, he doesn’t at all seem in any hurry to defend its merits as a work of art, adding the following, quite firmly: “Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so. There were great films that year. ‘Good Night and Good Luck,’ amazing film. ‘Capote,’ terrific film. Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ great film. And Spielberg’s ‘Munich.’ I mean please, what a year. “Crash” for some reason affected people, it touched people… I’m very glad to have those Oscars. They’re lovely things […] Is it a great film? I don’t know.”
Read more here.
I should mention that the film spawned a TV series that lasted 2 seasons (2008-2009) which Haggis executive produced.