Kenneth Turan, of Crash's hometown newspaper, the L.A. Times, says it best
.More than any other of the nominated films, "Brokeback Mountain" was the one people told me they really didn't feel like seeing, didn't really get, didn'tunderstand the fuss over. Did I really like it, they wanted to know. Yes, I really did.
In the privacy of the voting booth, as many political candidates who've led in polls only to lose elections have found out, people are free to act out theunspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or, likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year,that acting out doomed "Brokeback Mountain."
For Hollywood, as a whole laundry list of people announced from the podium Sunday night and a lengthy montage of clips tried to emphasize, is a liberalplace, a place that prides itself on its progressive agenda. If this were a year when voters had no other palatable options, they might have taken a deepbreath and voted for "Brokeback." This year, however, "Crash" was poised to be the spoiler.
I do not for one minute question the sincerity and integrity of the people who made "Crash," and I do not question their commitment to wanting a more equalsociety. But I do question the film they've made. It may be true, as producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar for best picture, that this was"one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American history," but "Crash" is not an example of that.
I don't care how much trouble "Crash" had getting financing or getting people on board; the reality of this film, the reason it won the best picture Oscar,is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long. And something more.
For "Crash's" biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions, but make them think they are seeing somethinggroundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could makeyou believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul, when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.