March 06, 2006 12:00 PM

Brokeback Mountain

Capote

CRASH

Good Night, and Good Luck

Munich

This is that rare year in which there’s not a clinker among the choices for Best Picture. All the nominees are substantive films made with care and craft, and the fact is I’m fine with any one of them winning—loved ’em all. But if pressed, I loved Crash best and am pulling for its title to be announced on Oscar night.

Brokeback Mountain is a heart-rending, boundary-breaking romance that moves a viewer to tears. Capote is a brilliant examination of a writer’s betrayal of both his subject and himself. Good Night, and Good Luck is an eloquent historical drama that speaks to current issues. And Munich is a thoughtful political thriller unafraid to confront moral ambiguities.

But Crash has impact. A beautifully acted ensemble drama (including Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon, above) set in contemporary Los Angeles, it focuses on racial and ethnic divides and the need to bridge them—now. Sure, its plot depends on coincidence, but Crash felt more disturbingly real than any other movie last year. And for that I hope it wins.

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