Ever since Crash upset Brokeback Mountain to win Best Picture at the 2006 Academy Awards, people have snarked that Paul Haggis’ interwoven tale of L.A. stories didn’t deserve the honor. Ten years after the film opened in theaters, even its director isn’t sure it should have taken home that statuette.
“Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so,” Haggis admitted to HitFix while promoting his upcoming HBO miniseries, Show Me a Hero. “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. Crash for some reason affected people, it touched people. And you can’t judge these films like that.”
“I’m very glad to have those Oscars. They’re lovely things. But you shouldn’t ask me what the best film of the year was because I wouldn’t be voting for Crash, only because I saw the artistry that was in the other films,” he continued. “Now however, for some reason that’s the film that touched people the most that year. So I guess that’s what they voted for, something that really touched them. And I’m very proud of the fact that Crash does touch you. People still come up to me more than any of my films and say, ‘That film just changed my life.’ I’ve heard that dozens and dozens and dozens of times. So it did its job there. I mean I knew it was the social experiment that I wanted, so I think it’s a really good social experiment. Is it a great film? I don’t know.”
Crash took home three Oscars in all that year — Best Picture, Original Screenplay (for Haggis and Robert Moresco), and Best Editing — and was also nominated for Best Director, Best Original Song, and Best Supporting Actor for Matt Dillon.
You can read the rest of Haggis’ comments about the film at HitFix. Show Me a Hero, directed by Haggis and co-written by The Wire’s David Simon, premieres its first two hours Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET.
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