Awards won: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing
Far as subtlety goes, Paul Haggis' multi-character drama Crash has the gentleness of a Mack truck plowing into a crowded building. A tapestry of racial tension in Los Angeles, it's a maddening viewing experience. Some moments, like the little girl with a gun to her head, are so manipulative, only robots wouldn't feel riveted by them. But that doesn't make it good. Most scenes in Crash take obvious stereotypes (white cops are horrible people, black guys dressed in baggy clothes are dangerous) and play them out forcibly and, worst of all, predictably.
With its starry cast and emotional center, Haggis' film was the safe bet at the 78th Academy Awards, and the voters took no risks. Crash beat out better movies like Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Good Night, and Good Luck to win Best Picture. The year's biggest injustice, though: David Cronenberg's A History of Violence didn't even score a Best Pic nomination.