Published on November 17th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie0
The Blind Side Film Review: Sentimentality On Overdrive
Director: John Lee Hancock.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head and Tim McGraw.
Based on a true story, The Blind Side tells the account of a god-fearing, tough-talking, peroxide-blonde mother who decides to take a black, high school boy under her wing. The boy becomes part of the family and shares in their daily life. Through his connection with his new kin he flourishes and grows in confidence.
Simultaneously, as this growth is occurring the family discovers that he also has a penchant for American Football.
The film is a heart-warming, adapted biopic of the Tuohy family who take future NFL player, Michael Oher, into their care.
The Blind Side, though not without its flaws, is a enjoyable picture dealing with prejudices, the importance of family and the similarity of all human beings, no matter where they came from or their family circumstances.
‘Unable to cry in public and very far removed from a supine trophy wife,’
Sandra Bullock’s portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy is exemplary and well-deserving of her Oscar. Leigh Anne is a driving, arresting force of nature who doesn’t conform to the usual expectations of femininity. Unable to cry in public and very far removed from a supine trophy wife, she is a hard grafter who gets things done. Even if it means going against the advice of her friends.
Bullock brings her sharp wit and intellect to the role and plays to her strengths. The greatest danger with portraying strong-willed woman is that they are often dislikeable on-screen. Bullock ensures that this does not happen to her Leigh Anne. What results is the perfect blend of a determined woman and thoughtful, caring mother.
‘This ambiguity feeds nicely into the film and provides sustained tension,’
Quinton Aaron’s Michael Oher is a curious mixture that refuses to be easily read. The viewer is never quite sure of either his intelligence or his intent. Is he pretending to be less smart than he actually is? Is he truly that nice? This ambiguity feeds nicely into the film and provides sustained tension, drawing the viewer into its world with seemingly little effort.
Tim McGraw’s portrayal of Sean Tuohy, husband of Leigh Anne, is completely overshadowed by his co-star. Tuohy exudes warmth and kindness and it is all-too-easy to dismiss the importance of his role in the story. For those paying attention, Tuohy is a pillar of strength for Leigh Anne. Like his wife, Tuohy is a rare breed – a husband who is comfortable allowing his spouse to be what ever she wants to be without interfering or trying to control her.
Michael Oher forms a close relationship with the cerebral member of the Tuohy clan, S.J. S.J., played by Jae Head, is an instantly likeable child with a strong curiosity and a precocious ability to read football plays.
There are plenty of memorable sub-plots in the film. One of the most fascinating is Leigh Anne’s self-questioning moral dilemma. Here she ponders her motivations as to whether or not she is doing the right thing by taking in Oher.
‘with actors rather than famous names as their ‘acting’ is terribly wooden.’
Another interesting contrast is the idea of a southern, well-to-do family completely departing from the stereotype of the uncaring and distant rich.
As already said above, The Blind Side is far from perfect. One scene where real-life American Football coaches proposition Oher may have been better executed with actors rather than famous names as their ‘acting’ is terribly wooden. This becomes an unwelcome intrusion and a reminder that we are watching a film and breaks from the story. Employing seasoned actors for these roles would have worked out much better.
Nonetheless, undoubtedly the film’s great weakness is it pandering to sentimentality and what results verges at times on being mawkish. Instead of remaining true to its roots and letting the story simply tell itself, it becomes self-knowingly maudlin.
‘The Blind Side causes you to cringe so much that you have to close your eyes.’
If it could have avoiding pandering to these pitfalls the film could have been truly terrific. However, it didn’t and the consequences of this is that at times The Blind Side causes you to cringe so much that you have to close your eyes.
When The Blind Side is at its best it is focused on Leigh Anne. A sassy and determined woman, with a strong moral compass, who possesses an extraordinary ability to get difficult tasks accomplished.
Highly Recommended Get The Film Through Amazon
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