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More about Crash

Roger Ebert, writing about what he calls the "Crash-Lash", comments that he feels that lovers of "Brokeback Mountain" are attacking "Crash"'s win unfairly. Some critics apparently believe that heterosexual Hollywood voted for "Crash" because a) they didn't want even to see the "gay cowboy" movie and b) that "Crash" had a "safer" liberal pov than the "gay" movie's. He just believes that "Crash" was a good movie, as was Brokeback, but that more people voted for it, and it's as simple as that. Somehow I don't think it is quite as simple as that. I was surprised, reading this month's Premiere magazine, by results in the list of all the movies from last year ranked by critics' ratings. Usually at least four of the five nominated films fall in the top ten of this list, and the frontrunners are nearly always in the top five. Indeed, "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Good Night and Good Luck," and "Munich" were numbers 2 - 5 respectively. I looked for "Crash," and couldn't find it. I was looking too high up the list: it was #58. I don't think I've ever seen a Best Film winner so low on the list - even "Titanic" had better overall reviews. That's not to say that I thought it was an awful film; I didn't. But I didn't think it was a great film. I didn't think "Brokeback" was spectacularly wonderful, either, but I did think it was better than "Crash." "Crash" was extremely well acted, and well made filmicly. What I disliked about it was its simpleminded morality, and perhaps that's where Hollywood did find it an "easier" film to like and to vote for than the more complex and subtle message of "Brokeback." But when has the Academy ever voted for subtlety?

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