Film Reviews

THE BLIND SIDE

By • Nov 21st, 2009 •

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Writing is real-life strong, directing perfect, Bullock makes you believe she has lived this life, and McGraw can give up the road. He’s got an effortless charm.

I missed the first screening and tried – unsuccessfully – to miss the second, as my well-known lack of compassion for others certainly would be tested. I feared THE BLIND SIDE would be the standard Hollywood hankie weeper about a rich lady who saves a poor, homeless black boy from a life of hardship and turns him, against all odds, into a NFL star.

The trailer said it all.

So, writer-director John Lee Hancock and star Sandra Bullock were not going to get a sympathetic pass from me. I hate being given life-affirming lessons in movies. What right does anyone working in Hollywood’s Ninth Ring of Hell have to preach values to me?

Hey, Sandy, could you come to my house on Super Bowl Sunday and explain every play to me? You did such a terrific job of explaining why a left tackle is so vital to winning a football game.

Football 101 says: On the outside of the guards are the two tackles, called the left and right tackles. These guys have a very hard job to do. The tackles will often be the biggest guys on the football team – 6’6″ or even more, 330 to 350 pounds. The tackle gets no sympathy, it’s his job to keep anyone from getting to the quarterback, no matter how big and strong or small and fast.

Tackles are chosen to have very long strong arms so that they can reach out and stop guys. They must have very fast feet so that they can quickly slide left, right, or backwards as necessary to protect their quarterback.

The left tackle protects “the blind side” of the quarterback – since most quarterbacks are right handed, they tend to look towards their right a bit and away from their left. The quarterbacks are relying on their left tackle to protect them from pass rushers. The defense will generally put their fastest and best pass rushed up against the left tackle, so this guy has to be extra fast and exceedingly dependable. An outstanding offensive tackle is a rare gem, and is paid as much as $10M per year. Tackles are among the highest paid players on the football team. http://football.calsci.com/Positions2.html

I don’t know anyone rich and self-assured enough as Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) who suddenly tells her millionaire husband they will pick up off the wet street, clothe and feed, and give a palatial home to a sad, obese, too-tall homeless black kid. She gets him into a prestigious private school and a tutor!

My husband wouldn’t even let me babysit a friend’s Bengal cat.

Tennessee socialite Leigh Anne is not used to hearing the world “No”. Her complacent husband Sean (Tim McGraw) goes along with her every wish and desire. He’s a retired, happy househusband who made a fortune owning over 80 fast food joints. She is a high-end interior decorator. It could be worse – Leigh Anne could be “designing” couture handbags.

The Tuohys are active in their son S.J. (Jae Head) and daughter Collins (Lily Collins) athletic activities and are very influential patrons of their beloved alma mater, Ole Miss.

I cried, and cried early. This is certainly due to the commendable gentle handiwork of the writer-director.

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is central casting pathetic. He’s 17 years old, huge, much too tall, obese, ignorant, and homeless. “Big Mike” has no clothes. He couldn’t have come from a worse background. (Well, at least his mother was only on the pipe and not breaking luck on Magnolia Avenue and Central Street in Knoxville.)

Leigh Anne is defiant that adopting Michael is her Christian duty and has nothing to do with the fact that he has all the physical attributes to be a left tackle. In fact, she “pushes” him onto the high school football team and he passively agrees. And this is a contentious point very well made when it comes time for Michael to choose a college. Of course, the Tuohys hope he will pick Ole Miss.

Bullock may have slipped up with ALL ABOUT STEVE but she is absolutely perfect here. And she looks good in close-ups. So far, she’s a contender for an Academy Award Best Actress nomination. She has the right amount of pure intent and righteous attitude that makes you want to follow her into any desert.

McGraw is wonderful. What a treasure he has been hiding under that cowboy hat. The annoying scene-stealer is Jae Head, playing an obnoxious kid you want to send to his room.

The movie is based on Michael Lewis’ book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game”. It is very tears-worthy to see the real Tuohys (pictured) and Michael Oher at the end credits.

Postscript: Yes, Michael chose Ole Miss and went on to become a first-round draft pick of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Oher, now 23, signed a five-year contract with the Ravens worth about $13.8 million after helping Ole Miss reach the Cotton Bowl last season.


Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email. You can contact Victoria directly at masauu@aol.com.

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4 Responses »

  1. Another incoherent review.

  2. Finally a review from you that we can agree on.

  3. Am I allowed to chat here? Huh? I’m not so hyped about Sandy’s performance here, becuase it was Hollywood selling a persona to the public. She’s the “tough” “don’t you tell me no!” empowered she-anvil that would get soccer moms racing to the theatre. She spent a major portion of the film with her arms crossed. Was the costume designer paid extra to have all of Sandy’s sleeves glued together?! It was getting silly after a while and distracted from the movie.

  4. This is a great movie and i’m not a big Sanda Bullock fan , now about the review How about a coherent. paragraph. To hard ok , a Sentence. we dont need a good review just a understandable one.

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