short cuts and magnolia-esque in its storytelling, cast-type, and ending, but nowhere near the tour-de-force that magnolia is. it begins just after a car crash and this, along with mark isham’s (who also did short cuts) ethereal score, sets the dream-like tone for the rest of the picture; to view the film as a realistic set of events would mean a less enjoyable experience. the film ends with another car crash as the camera tracks along the street and eventually ascends to give larger meaning to the picture. it’s certainly an ambitious film, but one that falls short several times.
matt dillion and don cheadle were stand-outs in the packed cast, but matt dillion’s character was one of the least well-drawn in the film. it was either too easy to hate him or too easy to forgive him. either way it came off as simple, lazy or cliché. already the film is in imdb.com’s top #250 (though i’m sure it won’t last) and this is testament to the ease with which some people are manipulated. clearly this film lacks subtlety from time to time, and yet people were sucked in. all this isn’t to say that the picture was without redeeming qualities, it’s just that the picture is too neat and when dealing with a subject matter as unsavory, complex and faceted as racism, neat shouldn’t be the desired effect. on the positive side were some good performances, a good, complementary score and some good dialogue. paul haggis also wrote million dollar baby.Watched in theater