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As Above, So Below

It's that rare found-footage film with a strong premise, a memorably eccentric style, and plenty of energy to burn. It's also poorly conceived, and hard…

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The Last of Robin Hood

A title as good as "The Last of Robin Hood" deserves a better movie. In fact, it deserves a good movie.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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For people who don't want to think

From: Kerry Bailey, Los Angeles, CA

I am in that camp of people who wanted "Brokeback Mountain" to win for Best Picture but more than any other film, did not want "Crash" to win. It's not because I felt "Crash" was a spoiler, but merely because since I saw "Crash," I've felt it was contrived, manipulative, self-righteous and preachy. "Crash," I feel, is designed to make you believe you're watching and learning something IMPORTANT (with a ridiculous "happy" ending, no less). There's no real thinking that accompanies watching "Crash" even though that's what all of its champions will tell you.

"This will get you thinking about race disparities in L.A." or "I loved how 'Crash' made me think about how different cultures in the U.S. have to deal with one another." I concur that "Crash" is a GREAT movie -- for people who like to be told how to think about those issues without actually having to do any thinking themselves. Maybe "Crash" is great because of its ability to sucker everyone into believing its "reality".

I don't understand how, time and time again, a movie like this gets passed off as one of the Best of the Year. The Academy has a great track record of naming something Best Picture without thinking about how it will play in the long run. I'm still somewhat pissed about when "Braveheart" beat out "Babe" a few years ago. I mean, really, how many times can you sit through "Braveheart" compared to" Babe"? A couple of years ago everyone was gaga over "Mystic River." Can you please tell me why? And if you were one of the people who loved it, have you watched it a second time? If you tell me that it holds up as a BEST PICTURE under a second viewing, I might have to stop reading your reviews.

As far as what my theory is on WHY "Crash" won...? I did read a prediction
early on that "Crash" would win for best picture because of the fact that it has such a large ensemble cast compared to Brokeback and also that it was shot in Los Angeles, with a Los Angeles crew. These factors gave it a greater base of friends (and friends of friends) that Academy members were acquainted with who worked on the film, and thus influenced them to vote for it. This theory, I think, makes a lot of sense.

I guess we'll see what the shelf-life of all of these movies are in a few years and which really stands the test of time. "Brokeback" may be dated and irrelevant more quickly than I expect... but I have no doubt that that will happen long after "Crash" fades from everyone's memory.

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