Crash

Release

Box office

Crash opened in wide release on May 6, 2005, and was a box office success in the late spring of 2005. The film had a budget of $6.5 million (plus $1 million in financing).[2] Because of the financial constraints, director Haggis filmed in his own house, borrowed a set from the TV show Monk, used his car in parts of the film, and even used cars from other staff members. The film grossed $53.4 million domestically, making back more than seven times its budget.[2] Despite its success in relation to its cost, Crash was the lowest grossing film at the domestic box office to win Best Picture since The Last Emperor in 1987.

Critical response

The film received mostly positive reviews. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 170 out of the 227 reviews they tallied were positive, for a score of 75% positive reviews and a certification of "fresh", with an average score of 7.3 out of 10,[4] and the critical consensus "A raw and unsettling morality piece on modern angst and urban disconnect, Crash examines the dangers of bigotry and xenophobia in the lives of interconnected Angelenos", while Metacritic tallied an average score of 69 out of 100 for Crash‍‍ '​‍s critical consensus.[5] Roger Ebert gave the film four-out-of-four stars and described it as "a movie of intense fascination",[6] listing it as the best film of 2005. The film also ranks at #460 in Empire‍ '​s 2008 poll of the "500 Greatest Films of All Time".[7]

From an alternate perspective, the film has been critiqued for "laying bare the racialized fantasy of the American dream and Hollywood narrative aesthetics", and for depicting the Persian shopkeeper as a "deranged, paranoid individual who is only redeemed by what he believes is a mystical act of God".[8] The film has also been criticized for using multicultural and sentimental imagery to cover over material and "historically sedimented inequalities" that continue to affect different racial groups in Los Angeles.[9]

Oscar controversy

Crash won the Best Picture Oscar at the 78th Academy Awards, controversially beating the critically favored Brokeback Mountain and making it only the second film ever (the other being The Sting) to win the Academy Award for Best Picture without having been nominated for any of the three Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture (Best Drama, Best Comedy/Musical and Best Foreign Film).

The film's use of moral quandary as a storytelling medium was widely reported as ironic, since many saw it as the "safe" choice to Brokeback Mountain. Critic Kenneth Turan suggested that Crash benefited from anti-homosexual discomfort among Academy members,[10][11] while critic Roger Ebert was of a different opinion, arguing that the better film won that year. He went on to question why many critics were not mentioning the other nominees and that they were just mindlessly bashing Crash merely because it won over Brokeback Mountain. Ebert also placed Crash on his best ten list as #1 best film of 2005,[12] and correctly predicted it to win Best Picture.[13]

Film Comment magazine placed Crash first on their list of "Worst Winners of Best Picture Oscars", followed by Slumdog Millionaire at #2, and Chicago at #3.[14]

Accolades

Crash was nominated for six awards at the 78th Academy Awards and won three, including the win for Best Picture. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor (Matt Dillon) and the other for Best Screenplay (Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco).

Other awards include Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards; Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards 2005; Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Newton) at the 59th British Academy Film Awards; Best Writer at the Critics' Choice Awards; Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role (Howard) at the Black Movie Awards; Best First Feature and Best Supporting Male (Dillon) at the Independent Spirit Awards; Best Cast and Best Writer at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards; and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Howard) and Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.

Crash was one of the 400 nominated movies for the American Film Institute's 2007 list AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition).[15]

List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
78th Academy Awards Best Director Paul Haggis Nominated
Best Film Editing Hughes Winborne Won
Best Picture Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman Won
Best Original Song "In the Deep" Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Matt Dillon Nominated
2006 ALMA Awards Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Michael Peña Won
1st Austin Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Paul Haggis Won
Best Film Won
59th BAFTA Film Awards Best Cinematography J. Michael Muro Nominated
Best Director Paul Haggis Nominated
Best Editing Hughes Winborne Nominated
Best Film Nominated
Best Sound Nominated
Best Screenplay – Original Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won
Best Supporting Actor Don Cheadle Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Matt Dillon Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Thandie Newton Won
Black Reel Awards 2005 Best Actor Don Cheadle Nominated
Best Ensemble Won
Best Film Won
Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Won
Matt Dillon Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Thandie Newton Nominated
11th BFCA Critics' Choice Awards Best Cast Won
Best Director Paul Haggis Nominated
Best Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Matt Dillon Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Nominated
Best Writer Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won
Casting Society of America Awards 2005 Best Film Casting – Drama Sarah Finn and Randi Hiller Won
18th Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Won
Best Screenplay Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won
Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards 2005 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures Nominated
12th Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Matt Dillon Won
58th Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement Paul Haggis Nominated
Empire Awards Best Actor Matt Dillon Nominated
Best Actress Thandie Newton Won
Best Film Nominated
Scene of the Year Nominated
63rd Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Matt Dillon Nominated
37th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Motion Picture Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Terrence Howard Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Chris "Ludacris" Bridges Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Don Cheadle Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Larenz Tate Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Thandie Newton Nominated
17th Producers Guild of America Awards Motion Picture Producer of the Year Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman Nominated
12th Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Cast Won
Best Supporting Actor Don Cheadle Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Matt Dillon Nominated
6th Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Won
4th Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Won
Best Film Nominated
Best Screenplay – Original Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won
Best Supporting Actor Matt Dillon Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Nominated
58th Writers Guild of America Awards Best Screenplay – Original Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco Won

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