Oscar-Winner Paul Haggis Wrestles With His Reputation As A Debbie Downer

With a backlog of magazines accumulating on our nightstand (we don't know who ordered us the gift subscription to The Plushisist, but that's not our furry bag, baby), we apologize for not having gotten to Los Angeles magazine's Movie Issue sooner. Had we done so, we might have already noted their epic profile of Paul Haggis—the two-time Academy Award-winning writer/director who rocked the Hollywood firmament with Progressive Auto Insurance commercial-cum-racism allegory Crash, a film in which Sandra Bullock did some of her best Latino-locksmith-discriminating work to date. Haggis followed that with the even grimmer Iraq war drama In The Valley of Elah (a John Kerry DVD Club Selection of the Month™!), a film that only further cemented his reputation as suffering from an acute case of auteur's anhedonia:

"What haunts me...is that I'm getting too earnest. I just hate earnest people, and the thought of turning into one ..."
"I don't know, man. I read this article about myself in some magazine, and I came off as this earnest, serious person that thinks deep thoughts. Wow! Did I say that stuff? I sound like a complete asshole." [...]

"I was talking to People magazine" he says, "and I was going on this rant about how we're betraying our veterans, how we're making them face these impossible situations and these hellish things that they have to deal with. And they said, 'Give us something about Charlize so we can actually print it.' They were quite honest. They didn't care about these veterans or the children who were dying. So I gave them something about how Charlize played Deal or No Deal in the trailer, and that they printed. Wow! I should have told them to go fuck themselves, but no, you're trying to get people into the theater, so I'm not trying to alienate them."

Knowing that now, we feel that much smaller for having breathlessly relayed the news about Theron's addiction to dollar-value-assigned aluminum briefcases. Still, we applaud Haggis for resisting the urge to tell People to go fuck themselves, instead capitulating to their requests for trivial anecdotes featuring boldface names and top-rated game shows. At least we now know he planted the story for America's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-suffering men and women in uniform, and not out of some secret code of honor among bald Canadians to always plug each other's projects.