Well, Dave Kehr called it. And it makes sense–granting that Brokeback is better described as “very, very good” than “great,” it was just too good to win Best Picture in this era. Crash, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of didactic, jejune middlebrow doorstop the Academy loves. Ugh.
Just as bad (although it was a mortal lock) was it winning best screenplay versus The Squid and the Whale. As I said last year, Haggis can write dialogue on a scene-by-scene level, but in his original screenplays these virtues down in the sheer moth-eaten banality of the overall structure.