Our editors can give us many gifts and this year my editor, Carrie Feron, introduced me to what I believe is the Best Movie of the Year. (And yes, CINDERELLA MAN is #2 on my list.) I had barely walked into the Reno hotel where our national conference was being held when she told me, "I watched CRASH last night in my room. You HAVE to see it!" Okey-dokey. Usually my hotel viewing habits trend more toward light romantic comedies starring Hugh Jackman, but since her recommendation was so passionate (and she WAS my wise and brilliant editor), I decided to give CRASH a spin.
Let me start off by saying that CRASH is a deeply thoughtful and unflinching exploration of race relations in our country that will challenge your every preconception and misconception about skin color and culture. Wow, that sounds ponderous, doesn't it? So let me add that it is also a rip-roaring great movie about several lives in L.A. intersecting until each of their story threads weaves a moving and cohesive tapestry.
I laughed out loud at some of the dialogue, especially the lines spouted by rapper Ludacris and his erstwhile companion. I sobbed aloud during some of the scenes. And I was absolutely on the edge of my seat (or in this case, the edge of my bed) waiting to see what was going to happen next.
To me, the last is the greatest gift. How often do we watch a movie these days and honestly have NO idea what's going to happen next? We've almost lost our ability to be surprised because most directors don't even try anymore.
A lot of people missed this movie in the theaters but it's perfect for DVD viewing. I can promise you that you'll never look at some of these actors through the same eyes again: Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, the gorgeous Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe. (And in a totally surreal moment, even Tony Danza pops up!)
If you like a movie that makes you think as well as feel, give CRASH a chance.