Home | Sisters | Associates | Friars | Laity | Nuns | Link to Groups | World OP| DLC

Return to 2006 Films

Index of 2006

An Inconvenient Truth
Big Bad Swim
Brokeback Mountain
Cinderella Man
The Departed
The DaVinci Code
Eron: The Smartest
Guys in the Room

Good Night and
Good Luck

Half Nelson
History of Violence
Hotel Rwanda
Little Miss Sunshine
Journey from the Fall
March of the Penguins
Million Dollar Baby
Prairie Home Companion
Star Wars III:
Revenge of the Sith

Thank You for Smoking
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The Sea Inside
United 93
War of the Worlds
Walk the Line
World Trade Center

2006 Oscar for Best Picture


A Review by Tom Condon, OP
(St. Martin Province)

A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. An African-American television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie con. A middle-aged Korean couple.They ey all live in Los Angeles. And during the next 36 hours, they will all collide…

1 hour 40 minutes rated R
CAST: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Dashon Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Nona Gaye, Michael Peña

"What makes Crash so noteworthy for an American film, is that it dares to be about something. Crash dares to deal with racism, both explicit and implicit."

“In any real city, you walk, you know. You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. People just want to touch. I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.”

So begins Crash, the remarkable new movie about life in contemporary Los Angeles. Crash marks the directorial debut of Paul Haggis, screenwriter of the Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby. Haggis also is co-author of Crash, with Bobby Moresco. With these two very strong, yet different, films back to back, Haggis definitely establishes himself as a filmmaker to be reckoned with.

Crash takes place in a 24 period in a winter night in Los Angeles. Haggis and Moresco seamlessly interweave the stories of several character over this period: Anglo, African-American, Latino, Middle Eastern and Asian. We are introduced to the District Attorney and his wife, a TV director and his wife, police officers, carjackers, a locksmith, and a shopkeeper. Their lives intersect in unexpected ways, always delving deeper into these complex characters.

What makes Crash so noteworthy for an American film, is that it dares to be about something. Crash dares to deal with racism, both explicit and implicit. The situations in Crash bring out the racial and ethnic prejudices just below the surface. The characters often speak and behave in ways that not only surprise one another. They surprise themselves as well. These are the stereotypes that keep us apart, tense, and afraid.

Another remarkable aspect of Crash is that the characters are remarkably complex. Every one has serious flaws. At the same time, every character is deeply human, with a capacity for compassion. These are not one-dimensional cartoon characters which the audience can size up in 30 seconds. This is a movie in which a blatantly racist cop risks his life to save an African-American woman. At the same time, his partner, deeply disturbed at the racism, finds unexpected racial attitudes in himself that lead to tragedy. Everyone is guilty. However, no one is beyond redemption.

Crash is not perfect. The situations sometime seem contrived, as if the screenwriters just had to come up with a scene in which the characters would interact. (How about an auto accident in which a car bursts into flames?) And, in a movie with so many characters, some come across better than others. For example, the district attorney’s wife, played by Sandra Bullock, seems underdeveloped. Why is she so angry?

Crash boasts an amazing ensemble cast that you might expect to find in a Robert Altman film. There are familiar faces (Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon) and others I hope to see more of in the future. Let’s hope Crash gives all their careers a boost.

Crash is not always easy to watch. The language is strong. It offers no easy answers. But it does offer hope that, even in the complex urban society that most of us live in, there is humanity in us all. “People just want to touch, to feel something.” Crash doesn’t deny the fear that keeps us apart. At the same time, it gives us reason to hope for something better.

Tom Condon, O.P.

Home | Contact Us | DLC
Dominican Life | USA is sponsored by the Dominican Leadership Conference,
the networking organization for elected leaders in the USA.
Dominican Life | USA © 2002-
2007, All Rights Reserved
Web Editor: Anne Lythgoe, OP

Subscribe to DomLife.org and get a free email update every two weeks.