Last night, “Crash” won the Oscar for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I saw “Crash,” but I am not a fan of the movie. I thought that it was hokey and superficial in its treatment of a serious subject.
In an essay for MSNBC.com, Erik Lundegaard sums it up well.
But what is [the movie] saying? That we all bear some form of racism. That we all “stereotype” other races. That, when pressured, racist sentiments spill out of us as easily as escaped air.
Here’s my take. Yes, we all bear some form of racism — that’s obvious. Yes, we all “stereotype” other races in some fashion — that’s obvious. (Particularly obvious in the Los Angeles of “Crash,” where so many characters are stereotypes.) But, no, we don’t easily give voice to our racist sentiments. And that’s why “Crash” rings so false.
Last month I wrote an article on the best picture nominees (called “Anything But ‘Crash’”) in which I talked about how the most potent form of racism in this country is no longer overt but covert. Once upon a time, yes yes yes, it was overt, which is another reason why “Crash” [is an awful movie]. It’s doing what simple-minded generals do: It’s fighting the last war (source).
Lundegaard is right on target. The dialogue in this movie simply does not ring true. Real racism typically does not surface in the way that this film alleges. The situations in “Crash” seem contrived and unrealistic at best.
I still can’t believe that this movie won Best Picture. In my view, it was awful.
If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. But I recommend that you go and take Lundegaard’s “‘Crash’ Quiz” (click here). It may change your mind.