So, all-in-all, I did pretty well in the Web Goddess Oscar Pool…I ended up going 10-for-12 in the major categories, missing Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. (And I actually thought I had Adapted right, but forgot to switch my pick after moving Supporting Actor from Giamatti to Clooney….Ah well.)
As for Crash…I finally saw it last night and thought it was a well-meaning but ultimately rather middling flick. On one hand, I liked the central message of the film, which is that people always tend to be more complicated than you’d expect them to be. But, otherwise, Crash was filled with some of the most ridiculous speechifyin’ I’ve ever seen in a movie. As y’all know, I’m generally a fan of politically-tinged message films. But, throughout Crash, the characters never miss a chance to start monologuing about the state of American race relations, usually in barely believable fashion (To take just one of many examples, does anyone under the age of 55 actually use the term “Chinaman”?) Ok, this movie has its liberal-humanist heart in the right place, and mighta been the most daring movie of 1991. But, by this point, I thought it felt relentlessly out-of-date with its stilted verbiage and can’t-we-all-just-get-along grandstanding at every available opportunity. Which is not to say that racism isn’t a serious problem, but, to be honest, I’ve seen more believable disquisitions into L.A.-style racial strife on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The Academy didn’t embarrass itself this time: Crash is definitely a better movie than Paul Haggis’ entry last year, the egregious Million Dollar Baby. (And I still can’t believe the best film of 2004, Eternal Sunshine, wasn’t even nominated.) But, to my mind, every one of the other nominees, as well as The New World and Syriana, were better films than Crash, which basically amounted, to my mind, to a glorified After School Special.