Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Mild Defense Of The Movie All Smart People Hate

Crash was not a great movie. Crash was not a good movie. I do not think Crash was a "Best Picture" though I also wouldn't call it the Worst Best Picture Ever.

Crash was "middlebrow pseudointellectualism." I don't think that's a bad thing! I get that it's annoying when such things are elevated to High Art when they aren't, so the Best Picture label gives people reason to criticize it on that basis. And if you're genuinely surrounded by people talking about how brilliant Crash is, then I get that it's annoying.

But, hey, Crash made a slightly more nuanced and multifaceted movie about race than we usually get, and people liked it. I'd probably nod along with basically every criticism of how it approached race (I haven't seen the movie in a long time, and probably won't again, so I don't remember the particulars well enough to really know), though I think anybody who tried to make such a movie would step on numerous landmines. Still it wasn't made for people like me who have spent more than a few seconds thinking about the nuances and complexities of racial issues in this country.

Yah it basically absolves white people, but at least it isn't quite a white savior movie like most Important Movies About Race are.