In the Dark

Crash Course

Produced by Bull’s Eye Entertainment
Directed by Paul Haggis
Screenplay by Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco
Distributed by Lions Gate Films

Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its 78th annual awards ceremony.  Dreamt up by Louis B. Mayer in 1927, the Academy’s advertised mission was to confer legitimacy on an industry widely belittled at the time for the vulgar sensationalism of its entertainments.  It was also tasked with cleaning up films before would-be censors forced the issue.  One wonders what Mayer would think, had he lived to see his Academy give this year’s Best Song Oscar to “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” the charming ditty from Hustle and Flow?  Of course, he wouldn’t really be in a position to complain.  Despite pretensions, pimping has been the Academy’s real mission from the first.  The Oscar remains an infallible box-office lure, attracting untold millions to films of dubious value.

Everyone knows the Academy Awards ceremony is an exercise in huckstering.  In spite of itself, however, the Academy sometimes gets things right, as this year’s Best Picture Award proves.  The Academy justifiably honored Crash, a small independent film that had the temerity to tell the truth about class and race in today’s America...

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