Just when you thought Italian arthouse cinema was on a roll, it comes under the malign influence of Paul Haggis’s ‘Crash’. This clunky melodrama by Paolo Virzì follows a wealthy banking dynasty and a hard-pressed middle-class family whose fortunes collide after a hit-and-run. The devices are by now familiar – a criss-crossing plot (with chapter headings and a chopped-up timeline just so we know it’s serious), strung together by shamelessly convenient coincidences, all to convey an over-arching message that’s not as profound as it thinks it is. So wealth corrupts... who knew? It all looks very attractive, and the cast are faultless, especially Valeria Bruni Tedeschi as an unsettled trophy wife, and Fabrizio Gifuni’s reptilian aristo moneyman. But the result is as superficial as it is mindlessly watchable. From Visconti and Pasolini through to ‘I Am Love’, Italian cinema has a proud tradition of dramatising class tensions, but this feels more like a TV soap lost on the big screen. The dividends are disappointing.