The Director of ‘Crash’ Doesn’t Think It Deserved the Best Picture Oscar Either
Check almost any post of the worst Oscar winners in history (like, say, this or this or this or this) and you are bound to find, at or near the very top, Paul Haggis’ Crash. The story of racial collisions (like, literally) in Los Angeles got plenty of good reviews upon its release in 2005, but pretty quickly the positive sentiment curdled into intense resentment as the film wound up sweeping through awards season and besting more well-regarded productions like Brokeback Mountain and Good Night and Good Luck. A decade later, public opinion is almost unanimous; the Oscars got it wrong.
Opinion is so unanimous, in fact, it’s actually shared by Crash’s director, Paul Haggis. In a new interview with HitFix about his new HBO mini-series Show Me a Hero, Haggis conceded that even he agrees that the Academy got it wrong when they picked his movie to receive the Best Picture award for 2005:
Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so. There were great films that year. Good Night and Good Luck, amazing film. Capote, terrific film. Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, great film. And Spielberg’s Munich. I mean please, what a year.
To be clear, Haggis ain’t rushing out to hand his Oscars back. (“I’m very glad to have those,” he told HitFix.) And he’s still proud of his work. He attributes his film’s success to the way it “affected” people. “I guess that’s what [the Academy] voted for,” he explained. “Something that really touched them.” Haggis says people still come up to him to say Crash changed their lives.
And, hey, good for them! And good for Paul Haggis, who seems like a decent dude, and who’s made some good movies that probably got less praise than they deserved as a result of some kind of weird attempt in certain corners of the media to balance out all the over-praise for Crash (like In the Valley of Elah, his underrated movie about Iraq War veterans). If we’re being honest, Crash wasn’t terrible movie; it just maybe wasn’t the best movie of 2005 (a statement the man who made it apparently agrees with).
People started to hate Crash more because of the wider reaction to the movie than the actual movie itself. And if Crash taught us anything, it’s that such hatred is like a poison, ruining us all from within. So it’s time to let that stuff go. Instead, let’s focus on things that really matter, like Birdman winning Best Picture.