Crash wins!

Spoiler alert... Richard Kim defies two gods of the film criticism world, Ebert and the New Yorker's David Denby, to castigate the "compassionate conservatism" of this year's Best Picture, Crash (analyzed beautifully here, on AlterNet):


...Easy and self-congratulatory liberalizing is the epitome of the film. To my mind, Crash's central message is: There's a lot of racism in the world, but it's all rendered meaningless by a magical force. This force is called sheer coincidence.
I'll happily spoil the denouement for anyone who hasn't seen it. The racist white cop (Matt Dillon) sexually molests a black women (Thandie Newton), but is really a good guy because he saves her from a car crash (oh, and because he loves his ailing poppy). His partner's (Ryan Phillipe) anti-racist protests are really irrelevant because he ends up killing an innocent black teenager (Larenz Tate).
Meanwhile, a rich, racist white woman (Sandra Bullock) unfairly suspects a Latino locksmith (Michael Pena) of being a crook, but it's okay because her Latino maid (and best friend) takes care of her when she injures herself. And on and on and on through a "compassionate conservative" rainbow of cast members each with their own neatly moralistic (but totally individualized) racial melodramas. As with the well-awarded musical Avenue Q, the moral of Crash is: Don't worry, everyone's a little bit racist.
In other Oscar news, Paradise Now didn't win, but it did remain in contention. Having not seen the other foreign film contenders I can't say whether it was stolen or not. I suspect not, as it wasn't Earth-shatteringly good by any means -- important as it was.

On the other hand, those whose political agenda it was to pull the legs out from a future Palestinian state by petitioning the Academy to list it as coming from the Palestinian Authority (as opposed to Palestine) seem to have won... Shameless. (The Notion)

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