One of those films that neatly illustrates how ideology can't be neatly divorced from aesthetics (Godard was right!) I remember seeing this as a teenager the year after it came out. At the time it seemed aesthetically neutral, as though this was the Platonic form cinema had reached and would now continue to occupy. Over a decade later it now seems so specific to its time along with 'Magnolia' and 'American Beauty'.
In a year we had the disgraceful, one-sided and ultimately racist movie Get Out attempting to talk about racism, a film like Crash deserves another look. It feels honest and balanced, its characters are three dimensional. There is more misunderstanding between races than actual hatred which although wrong is not without reason thus everyone is a "racist" but no one is cruel.
A better than expected drama that has several plots that gets connected by a traffic accident. A good ensemble with especially Sandra Bullock memorable as a racist bitch and Matt Damon being perfect as a sleazy cop make this film watchable even if it has some big melodramatic twists and turns.
I first saw this film in a college screenwriting class. Knowing the love/hate status of this film, I was very excited and had a very fresh mind prior to viewing. I've since seen it 3 times, and it was and still is an unredeemable pile of filth. Some of the worst dialog and characters watered with lazy directing and editing and an uninspired script done better dozens of other times...but the dialog is just so bad!
Amidst other issues, just about any character that doesn't fit into the dynamic of 'Black vs White' comes off plainly as an abstraction of their race. The Asian characters, for example, never really transcend being the Asian characters. The cast definitely could have done with a down-sizing; if the plot were ONLY about something involving lawyers, gangs, and police, the thematic meat would be about the same.
It's easy to hate on this film (not least because it beat the wonderful brokeback mountain to the best picture oscar) but it's actually an interesting examination of prejudice in every day society, with a great performance from Matt Dillon. It's wrong to critise it for contrivance - that it the entire point of this ensemble drama.
Crash begins with the deepest social reflection I’ve heard in a while. On smart dialogues, it starts at full speed around racism, but ends mimicking Iñárritu’s Amores Perros trying to make intolerance the cause of various social issues. It cuts corners to get its point across; it only relies on impression and never delves into its characters or their feelings. If you’re into interweaving storylines, this is for you.