At the 2006 Academy Awards, director Paul Haggis' gritty drama Crash won the Oscar for Best Picture, and almost immediately became the first film most people refer to when discussing movies that absolutely shouldn't have won Oscars.
Now, almost a decade later, Haggis himself has joined the group of people who find Crash's victory inexplicable.
"Crash, for some reason affected people, it touched people," Haggis said in an interview with Hitflix, promoting his upcoming HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero. "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."
"Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so. There were great films that year," Haggis admitted.
Specifically, Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck and Munich to take home the golden trophy.
"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," Haggis shared. "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," Haggis continued, adding, "Is it a great film? I don’t know."
While Crash often comes up as one of the poorest Academy decisions in recent years, it's not nearly the worst choice the Academy ever made when voting on a Best Picture winner.
That honor is still held by the 1941 film How Green Was My Valley, which inexplicably beat out The Maltese Falcon, Suspicion and even Citizen Kane.