Monday, March 06, 2006

Crashing Oscar

The Oscar for “best movie of the year” went to “Crash” at Sunday night’s academy awards. It was a movie I had not seen, but had been mildly intrigued by the story line and the trailers I saw in the theaters last year. It just hadn’t moved me enough to drop $35 for tickets, popcorn and beverages.

There are two problems plaguing Hollywood releases these days. Problem Number One is that Hollywood is REALLY out of touch with what most movie goers are willing to pay money to see. Don’t believe me—take a look at box office figures. They’ve been dropping like a stone for the past several years.

Problem Number Two is that the concessionaires are gouging moviegoers in a huge way, which is where movie theaters make their big bucks. The only place more expensive to eat is at an NBA basketball game, but that’s another topic for another blog.

So I hadn’t seen “Crash,” which is a disturbing thread of a tale with an impressive cast of familiar faces. A buddy lent me his copy he’d rented from Netflicks, and asked me to drop it in the mail when I was finished.

Okay, so if that’s a Federal offense, sue me. At least I’m not sneaking around about it. You’d think I hoarded out of date Blockbuster videos…which I do not.

You’ve got to pay attention when watching “Crash.” There is a lot going on with a lot of people, and somehow they’re all intertwined. Irony. There’s lots of irony in “Crash.” This is not an irony-poor film.

I was disturbed by the offensive language in this film. Did you know Sandra Bullock can cuss like a sailor? While we were sleeping, that girl developed an attitude. Does she put food in that mouth, too?

No one in this movie is going to be mistaken for a Tibetan monk. Well, a few might be mistaken for Tibetans, but only on looks. And that’s the point of the movie…looks are only skin deep, but prejudices run much deeper.

If the characterizations, comments and thoughts of the people in “Crash” represent even a tenth of the reality in America today, we should all be ashamed. Here’s a test: did you see even and inkling of yourself in any of the characters in “Crash?” For some, that answer is pretty painful.

I am heartened that there are several resolutions for some of the main characters in the plot. After all, it was filmed around Christmas time, as keyed by the set dressings. I like happy endings, which comparatively speaking, “Crash” has. Perhaps in a year in which the main contenders for Film of the Year were about gay cowboys, cross-dressers, or violence on one level or another, it is encouraging that as vile a film as “Crash” is, the one with the happy ending took home the Oscar.

By the way, the borrowed Netflicks disc is in the mail.

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