David Denby on “crash”


In honor of the Oscar’s this past Sunday, here’s David Denby’s review of Crash from earlier this year.

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” (opening May 6th) 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.

more from the New Yorker here.