Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Blind Side

I have to admit, I have always loved Sandra Bullock. I have also been very frustrated with her, because she could easily be accused of being a lazy actress. It's all the more annoying when you see how talented she can be when you see some of her lesser known work, as author Nelle Harper Lee in the brilliant 'Infamous' and the multi layered Jean Cabot in the equally great 'Crash'. I think she's beautiful and sweet and charming, and when she sets her mind to it, a really talented, thoughtful and generous actress.
The Blind Side is a good film. It's the 'based on truth' story of the very rich Tuohy family (courtesy of Taco Bell franchises), headed up by the fierce Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) with unwavering support from her loving husband Sean. Sean is portrayed extremely ably by Country and Western singer Tim McGraw who brings a warmth and strength to a role that could easily have seen the husband as downtrodden and hen pecked. The Tuohys are a good Christian family, and when Leigh Anne is given the opportunity to help a homeless young black student Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron)from her children's school, she doesn't hesitate to put her money where her mouth is and assist him in every way possible. Michael has not had a good life up until he meets the Tuohys, a crack addicted Mother, pushed from pillar to post, drug dealing friends, you get the all too familiar picture. When Michael's huge frame is put to good use as a player in American Football, it's shown he has a talent for the game, even if he needs some encouragement and guidance to get him there. There's a lovely appearance by the ever wonderful Kathy Bates as his tutor, and the Tuohy children are well acted, especially the mischievous young Sean JR (Jae Head, we'll be seeing more of him I'm sure). There's a lot of sadness in the film, but also a lot of humour and hope. I felt that the role of Michael was a little miscast. In the film, it was explained that he hadn't had much in the way of schooling, but was a bright kid. That didn't come across, to be honest, most of the time Aaron portrayed him as someone with all the lights on, but noone's at home. When you see the real life pictures of Michael at the end (now a successful football player) you can see the spark in him that isn't in the film. It's splitting hairs a bit because it's a lovely feel good movie. Leigh Anne's love, warmth and tenacity are at the heart of the film. Sandra Bullock is also at the heart of this film. In a lesser actress' hands Leigh Anne could have been seen as irritating and bossy, instead she is feisty, tenacious and fun. Yes, it's a bit schmaltzy, but what's wrong with that? I personally really love a good bit of schmaltz, who doesn't? It's a great story, that leaves you feeling that the Tuohy's were really lucky to have found Michael as well as vice versa. The movie won't win the Acadamy award but as for Sandra, well Uncle Oscar just might visit...The Blind Side: The film won't blind you with it's brilliance, but Bullock will have you looking through blurry lenses for a while. 6/10

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