Filmfest 2005

If there’s an ill-tempered remark that has ever been uttered in the city of Los Angeles that hasn’t found its way into Paul Haggis’s CRASH, I can’t imagine what it is. CRASH is about the rage and foolishness produced by intolerance, the mutual abrasions of white, black, Latino, Middle Eastern, and Asian citizens in an urban pot in which nothing melts. The characters run afoul of each other, say things better left unsaid, and get into terrible trouble. And yet the movie isn’t exasperating in the way that movies about steam-heated people often are. CRASH is hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it’s easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood’s MYSTIC RIVER, though it is not for the fainthearted. In the first twenty minutes or so, the racial comments are so blunt and the dialogue so incisive that you may want to shield yourself from the daggers flying across the screen by getting up and leaving. That would be a mistake. CRASH stretches the boundaries: after the cantankerous early scenes, it pulls us into the multiple stories it has to tell and becomes intensely moving. David Denby, The New Yorker, 2.5.2005

tags: Feature film

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Keith David


Director: Paul Haggis