Crash, Paul Haggis’ ineffective look at racial anxiety in Los Angeles, has the reputation of being the Worst Best Picture Winner Ever, but judging by Rotten Tomatoes, that’s not exactly correct. With a 75 percent “Fresh” rating, Crash is in the bottom 12, but nowhere near as critically loathed as Out of Africa (53 percent) or The Broadway Melody (42 percent). Yet, Oscar academics still debate how it won in 2005, with the popular conclusion being that people were scared to vote for Brokeback Mountain, because a vote for Ang Lee’s film meant a vote for HOMOSEXUALITY.
Even Haggis, who directed and wrote the damn thing, wouldn’t have voted for Crash.
Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so. There were great films that year. Good Night and Good Luck, amazing film. Capote, terrific film. Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, great film. And Spielberg’s Munich. I mean please, what a year. Crash for some reason affected people, it touched people. And you can’t judge these films like that. I’m very glad to have those Oscars. They’re lovely things. But you shouldn’t ask me what the best film of the year was because I wouldn’t be voting for Crash, only because I saw the artistry that was in the other films. Now however, for some reason that’s the film that touched people the most that year. So I guess that’s what they voted for, something that really touched them. And I’m very proud of the fact that Crash does touch you. People still come up to me more than any of my films and say, “That film just changed my life.” I’ve heard that dozens and dozens and dozens of times. So it did its job there. I mean I knew it was the social experiment that I wanted, so I think it’s a really good social experiment. Is it a great film? I don’t know. (Via HitFix)
It’s weird that we’re still talking about this a decade later, when everyone knows Best Picture should have gone to Oldboy (it was released in South Korea in 2003, but didn’t make it to the states until 2005). That film taught the world more about tension than Crash ever did.