- Not to be confused with the 1996 David Cronenberg film Crash.
Crash is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described "passion piece" for Haggis, Crash was inspired by a real-life incident, in which his Porsche was carjacked outside a video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991.
Several characters' stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles: a black detective estranged from his mother; his criminal younger brother and gang associate; the white district attorney and his irritated, pampered wife; a racist white police officer who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner; an African American Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with the officer; a Persian-immigrant father who is wary of others; and a hard-working Hispanic family man, a locksmith. The film differs from many other films about racism in its rather impartial approach to the issue. Rather than separating the characters into victims and offenders, victims of racism are often shown to be prejudiced themselves in different contexts and situations. Also, racist remarks and actions are often shown to stem from ignorance and misconception rather than a malicious personality.
The film stars Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Peña, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Phillippe. Matt Dillon was particularly praised for his performance and received Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, the cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Paul Haggis, and won three for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing at the 78th Academy Awards. It was also nominated for nine BAFTA awards, and won two, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Thandie Newton.