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Free Fire

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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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Really the worst

From: Jason Thornton, San Diego, CA

I read your article regarding the "Crash"-lash, and you have it completely wrong. People are lashing out against the "Crash" Best Picture award simply because it was in fact one of the worst movies of the year. It was one-dimensional, insulting, sophomoric, unrealistic, heavy-handed, melodramatic and just plain stupid. The only film that was conceivably worse than "Crash" was "Star Wars -- Episode III:Revenge of the Sith," another film which you have defended, despite its idiocy and poor storyline.

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People are frankly sick of the Academy awarding artlessness. In the past 12 years, only perhaps two or three of the Best Picture victors were actually worthy of the award ("American Beauty," "Million Dollar Baby," "The English Patient"), and even with those there were perhaps better choices each year. This year four superb movies were nominated for Best Picture and one horrendous one.

It's a complete lie to suggest "Brokeback Mountain" supporters do not mention the other four films. Most every conversation I've had has focused on all five films -- and while I think "Brokeback Mountain" was terrific, it was tied in my mind with "Capote" as the year's best. I saw and heard loads of criticisms of "Crash" long before the nominations were even announced, most of which never even brought up other films -- or if they did mentioned similar and much better multi-storyline, interwoven-thread type films such as "Syriana," "Magnolia" and of course "Traffic."

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