Crash’ into an Oscar

Alex Brown

Alex Brown

‘Crash,’ this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, is a stunning ride through the urban landscape of Los Angeles that focuses on the social and racial divisions that still seem to affect so many in our country.

The eye-opening feature from director Paul Haggis deals with the issue of race relations head on, presenting a very insightful view into the stereotypes that, unfortunately, still seem to be prevalent in today’s society.. “Crash” does an excellent job of displaying an issue while avoiding the preaching that other movies of its kind often do.

The somewhat-complex plot follows a 36-hour period in the lives of a district attorney and his wife, a Korean couple, police, detectives, car jackers, a Mexican locksmith and an African-American TV director and his wife. While all the characters are living their own lives, their paths weave together to provide a patchwork that brings this amazing story together.

For many movies, an all-star cast can help make a mediocre script into a good movie. The talent seems to make up for some serious flaws in the writing. However, “Crash” is not one of these movies, as it was also the Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay.

Of course, a movie starring Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Terrance Howard and several other excellent performers merely adds to the quality of this picture. Matt Dillon earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a veteran police officer dealing with the role race plays in both his personal and professional life. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges gives a passionate and strong performance as a young African-American man trying to deal with the views of a biased society,, yet possesses a similar view of the same world.

The beautiful part of this movie is the message that the movie sends. Everyone has a pre-determined notion of other races. They may be positive, they may be negative, but the idea is there. It is the interaction we, as people, have with each other that changes and shapes our view of others. In some way, our actions will effect someone else. At some point, lives come crashing together. Matt Dillon’s character, Officer Ryan, says it best when he said, “You think you know who you are? You have no idea.”