Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Crash"

A week ago, my wife went to see "Crash" and loved it so much she told me I had to see it, too. Over the weekend, I did, and she was absolutely right. It's the best movie I've seen in a long time, a wonderfully woven web of stories about race and racism, with a wide assortment of characters and plots.

Watching it, you wonder how the pieces will fit together and marvel at how they eventually do. "Crash" also includes one of the best daddy-daughter scenes I've even seen on screen, a quietly moving sequence about a father helping his kid overcome her fears so she can fall asleep while maintaining the innocence of childhood. It also serves as powerful foreshadowing of a heartbreaking later scene, but that's all I'll say -- do yourself a favor and see it without seeing a trailer, a plot summary, or anything else that could ruin it.

Writer-director Paul Haggis, who won an Oscar for his "Million Dollar Baby" screenplay and an Emmy for his work on "thirtysomething," has outdone himself with "Crash." He gets very good solid performances out of his ensemble, which includes Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Lorenz Tate, Ludacris, Ryan Phillippe, and Jennifer Esposito.

If "Crash" is not nominated for Best Picture this year, it'll be almost as large a miscarriage of justice as one of the sub-plots of his movie masterpiece. Don't miss it.