Director: John Lee Hancock
Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Kathy Bates, Tim McGraw, Jae Head, Lily
Collins, Ray McKinnon, Ashley LeConte Campbell
RunTime: 2 hrs 8 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG (Some Drug and Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.theblindsidemovie.com/
Opening Day: 14 January 2010
Bullock ("The Proposal"), Tim McGraw ("Friday
Night Lights") and Oscar-winner Kathy Bates ("Misery,"
"Revolutionary Road") star in Alcon Entertainment
and Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Blind Side," which
depicts the remarkable true story of All-American football
star Michael Oher.
A homeless African-American youngster from
a broken home, Oher (Quinton Aaron) is taken in by the Touhys,
a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential
on and off the football field. At the same time, Oher's presence
in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries
of their own.
in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different
set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student,
Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted
family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.
John Lee Hancock's screenplay and direction of the true story
narrated in Michael Lewis's book of the same name about American
football star Michael Oher (Quinton Aron) is a curious beast.
It is at its worst one of the more patronisingly ignorant
films considering racial and class distinctions in recent
times, and at its best, a well-meaning and truly skillful
construction of an underdog story that's strangely fulfilling
if one is to withhold any cynicism or skepticism.
immense success of Hancock's film is a stark reminder of two
things: firstly, that the power of an underdog story in drawing
audiences in and leaving them uplifted and fulfilled is nothing
to be ignored and secondly, Sandra Bullock is still America's
sweetheart, especially after a bumper year of screen appearances.
Bullock's Golden Globe nominated (and probably Oscar as well)
performance is the best in her oeuvre. It builds on a terrific
job in "Crash" that by all regards was masked by
a histrionic story and a thoroughly decent ensemble. She plays
Leigh Anne Tuohy, who together with her wealthy husband Sean
(Tim McGraw) and two kids (a blandly forgettable Lily Collins
and a hammy Jae Head) adopt a poor Michael into their mansion
after seeing him walking home in the rain with nothing but
the clothes on his back. Make no mistake, this is a film about
a canonised Leigh Anne, and to an extent her family's noteworthy
generosity in a state with an inexorably revolting history
of racial violence. It is not a film about Michael Oher or
'Big Mike' as he's known by those who never see the need to
look beyond the width of his shoulders. In fact, Quinton Aron
acts with his eyes for the bulk of the film, having almost
nothing to say in the film until its final scenes.
Blind Side" is so transparently manipulative in its connotations
of what makes a person charitable (Southern hospitality on
top of a big heap of good Christian beliefs, naturally) but
just so stunningly blind to its own well intentioned prejudices
when it represents only its white characters of having anything
resembling merit or ambition. They are either rote descriptions
of gang members or tired representations of ineffectually
desperate druggie parents. It gives and takes so easily, with
a gimmicky and schematic flow that panders to our most contrived
racial anxieties and base notions of class discriminations.
a sense that "The Blind Side" trades in the best
of what audiences wants in the world – the idea that
there is intrinsic worth in everybody. It's a noble intention
thats invalidated by an execution with the depth of a bumper
sticker without the required brevity. But you just never feel
that the film was being honest about the most important parts
of its story when its most important character is kept on
(Condescending to its proposed ideals for the most
part, brought together by a solid and inviting performance
by Sandra Bullock)
Review by Justin Deimen