Movie Review: The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock has flirted with great performances all her career. Sure she has had many mainstream film hits from While You Were Sleeping to The Proposal and tried different genres in Premonition and Murder By Numbers. But for me Sandy took turn in 2004’s Crash. Her performance in that movie was a revelation. She was just so good, so electrifying and it was a complete transformation.

Sandy’s performance in The Blind Side is a similar revelation and carries on what she did in Crash. Her character is strong, fierce, devoted and opinionated. It could be the best performance of her career.

The Blind Side tells the true story of Michael Oher, a very large black kid who is just fighting to find himself in the world. His mom is addicted to drugs, his dad is dead and his relatives have given up on him. He is also on the verge of failing out of his school.

That all changes one night when a successful white family notices him walking on a road. Oher claims he is heading for the school’s gym but it is at night and the family knows it is closed. The matriarch of the family, Leigh Anne (Bullock) asks Oher if he has any place to sleep for the night. He doesn’t so out the kindness of her heart she  takes him home and allows him to sleep on her couch.

The real Michael Oher and family.

It is hard for a lot of us to take a risk like that on a complete stranger but this family did and a relationship began. Leigh Anne finds out that Oher isn’t very smart (due to his struggle in the school system) but in his aptitude tests he scored a 98% in protective nature. So Leigh Anne uses that, she gets him a tutor and enrolls Oher in the school’s football program as a Left Tackle, who’s sole job is to protect the quarterback.

I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the Blind Side and Sandy in the starring role. The film hits all the marks it needs to and excels in showing us all a part of the human condition that Hollywood doesn’t often take a chance on.

The sentiment of the movie reminded me a lot of the TV series Friday Night Lights and how each and every week that show enthralls me without really trying. Both this film and that series are about characters, relationships and how we all bond as human beings.

I was also really impressed with the performance from country singer Tim McGraw who plays the subtle husband to Sandy’s overtly dominating wife. In other movies his character would have had a inferiority complex or feel threatened but this husband is supportive and loving. Like men have to be when they are in a relationship with a strong woman.

I have been surrounded by strong women all my life and I think that has helped me in life, why do other Hollywood films always have to make that seem so bad? We claim we live in an equal opportunity society. It is like commercials refusing to drop the illusion of the nuclear family and that women only clean.

I think that is another reason why this film works so well is because when Bullock’s matriarch takes charge people follow. And that is exactly how it is supposed to be. Leaders aren’t just white males!

The Blind Side is just one of those movies you have to see to believe. And it’s commentary on how society has changed is just one of it’s secrets.

4.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

One thought on “Movie Review: The Blind Side

  1. My favorite line from this movie was right before Sandra Bullock went out onto the practice field to instruct Michael on how to protect his team. She said “Hey, watch my stuff.” – As she strutted out onto that field in that white skirt, all i could do was watch her “stuff”.

    The “strong woman” issue was a bit over the top as it was contrasted with the bland husband; and only superseded by the completely unbelievable scene when she mouths off (threatens) to the menacing hood rats on their own turf. Any and every black person who is from the hood (I am) knows that if that really happened, she’d have been a victim, not a she-ro.

    Finally, This movie (as others of its ilk – made by hollywood liberals who have for ever pretended to support and champion the causes of minorities) manages to turn a story about a black person into a story about a white person. Recently, the story of a Julliard trained Cello player Nathaniel Ayers (Jaime Foxx) was on the big screen and somehow the white guy, Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) became the star of the film, prominent face on the poster, and lead name in promos. From Sonny Crocket (Don Johnson) to Michelle Phieffer, and even Jon Lovitz – the Great white hope always seems to swoop in and steal the show from those black people about whom the real story is about. Currently this can be seen in the poster and movie where Morgan Freeman’s (Nelson Mandella) face is larger but, shadowed in silhouette on the poster and Matt Damon (who was in diapers when Mr. Freeman was already an established star) is face front and smiling at the viewer. Clearly the art director was directed to give Mr. Damon the spotlight while relegating Mr. Freeman (Mr. Mandella) the lesser character. The reason I bother to mention this is because of the hypocrisy of the liberals who are (in my opinion) worse than the conservative, right wing republican bigots they want everyone else to think of as the bad guys. Personally – both groups are equally as bigoted and have fooled some of the people – but not this one.

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