This Could Make Me Lose My Indie Film Snob Card…But I Really Liked “The Blind Side”
After initially seeing the trailers for “The Blind Side”, I had several negative reactions. First and foremost, Sandra Bullock is an immediate turn-off for me. There aren’t many movies she is in that I can bear watching and this didn’t look to change my mind. Also, inspirational sports movies can be an iffy bunch. There are more weak attempts at them than strong, thus I remained skeptical.
While I’m still a bit shocked, I can safely report that for the most part, I completely enjoyed “The Blind Side”. It’s a very sweet (albeit cheesy at times), inspirational story about what can happen when the fortunate helps the unfortunate.
“The Blind Side” is the true account of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family. Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a homeless African-American Memphis teenager, born to a crack head mother in the projects. After getting into an affluent Christian high school due to the efforts of a hopefull football coach, Oher meets the Tuohy family, more specifically Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock). The Tuohy family invites Oher to their home and over time, he becomes a part of their family. Along the way, we learn that Oher is quite the offensive left tackle and becomes a highly sought after college recruit.
Unfortunately for the plot, that’s about it. Fortunately, the movie moves at a good pace and, even when it cheesily sneaks in emotional moments, it somehow works. It’s mostly due to the warm and fuzzies you get watching a person take complete advantage of the opportunities presented to him. It could be said that it is simply a tale of a rich white family taking on a charity case, but even the most cynical should see flaw in that. This is the case of a great family helping out a great person, which should give almost anyone hope in humanity.
There’s not much suspense since anyone with Internet access can see that Michael Oher is now a starting tackle for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, so he obviously turns out okay by the end of the movie. Instead of suspense, this movie is driven by the (gulp) performance of Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and to some degree, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy. Yes, even McGraw is pretty damn good as the uber-agreeable husband.
In the end, this is Bullock’s movie and she dominates it with what should be considered her finest acting performance. Sure, she’s a bit over the top every now and then but her character just oozes confidence and determination that it completely works. Bullock is getting some movie industry awards buzz and it is pretty deserved. It’s really the perfect role for her as it allows her to be sassy, smart, funny, and she handles the movies few heavy moments quite well.It’s tough for me to really rate “The Blind Side”. There’s a part of me that saw a formulaic, sappy movie that unapologetically grabbed your heart strings and pulled. The other part saw a touching, inspirational story about a family that generously opened their hearts and doors to an unfortunate kid that just needed that one break to be successful.
For once, I’m going to lose my standard cynicism and enjoy “The Blind Side” for what it is: A formulaic, sappy movie that unapolgetically pulls your heart strings…and is all the better for it.