Wow, can you imagine the nerve of John lee Hancock! How dare he portrays a family of good Christians, of wealthy people without any problems and expressing a strange and mutual feeling called love! Can you believe there's also a big African-American kid from an impoverished neighborhood, abandoned by a drug-addicted mother... only to be saved by the knights in white shining armor! And don't get me started on the sappy, schmaltzy, happy ending where they're all celebrating his entry In National Football League.
Well, it's all based on a true story! But still, to pile up so many insults to political correctness and combine them into one movie!!! Now, I'll stop the rant. In case you hadn't noticed, I was being sarcastic. Now, let's be serious and consider what "The Blind Side" is truly about.
There are two ways to look at the sports biopic: a succession of clichés serving the images of good white savior, and giving a subtle unnoticeable flavor to the infamous "Uncle Tom" (some even felt Magical White Negro vibes in the performance of Quinton Arron as Michael Oher) OR you can just enjoy it as a touching movie praising values like love and family, and showing that sometimes, it's not about the ethnic background but the level of violence you've been raised within and that inevitably condition your chances of a successful life. In other words, the rich socialite Leigh Anne Tuohydidn't adopt Mike because he was black, but because he was cold, hungry and in clear need for help. His ethnic race had no more relevance than his size.
Speaking of his size, many viewers have criticized the prospect of making him play football, but this isn't an aspect where the Tuohy family had a role to play. The football premise is set-up when one of his friend's father introduces him to the football coach of Wingate Christian school Burt Cotton (Ray McKinnon), the coach is impressed by his size but "Big Mike" can't enter the team without good semesters' grades. It's during his struggle to find a way with studies that his life path leads to an encounter with Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock). She didn't use him to satisfy some football- related ambitions but let's just be fair and accept that the guy was also born to play football, if not for his size, but for his wonderful protective instinct. Not to mention that he found something to do with his life and that brought joy to thousands of fans.
So give the film a break, it's just about the way loving and caring determine one's path. Take two singers with equal talents, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, look at the two men of their lives and how each singer ended, it has nothing to do with race, Houston might have had more talent than Dion but her life partner was trash and look how it ended up affecting her, Dion could count on the indivisible love of her husband René.That's all. The whole "Blind Side" story revolves around the importance of family and love as drivers, even religion is as secondary as race, it is cleverly used as the "marketing" asset behind Mike's recruiting but the film doesn't try to make 'market' it.
I'm not surprised by the critics though but they should really pass over people's heads. Quinton Aaron was also criticized but he stroke me more as someone with a capability to listen and whose first reaction after a gesture of love was to be surprised by it because he's not used to. But he doesn't refuse a gesture of love, he smiles and nods. Many times, I expect the film to play the cynical card or inject some conflict but I loved how smoothly it went, how everyone in that family respected and loved Mike, even Lily Collins didn't play the awkward or jealous teenager but was rather sweet and open-minded. Well, little SJ (Jea Head) got on my nerves a few times, but I loved how he negotiated with all the football coaches, the kid meant business! And finally, there's Sandra Bullock in her Oscar-winning role.
What I liked about her performance is the way she never overplays it, it could almost pass as a one-note performance until you get the idea that this is woman who must maintain a facade of cold formality and yet finds the proper way to communicate her feelings toward a kid with a totally opposite background, but that's her power, she knows exactly what language to speak and put some people in their place, she's really one cool mom.It's a good comedic role and very entertaining, which makes the more dramatic moments powerfully resonant.
There comes a point where the film questions the motives of Leigh Anna and allows Mike to have a rebellious moment, but if you know the real history, you won't be surprised that it's a feel-good movie, which is quite rare from movies that are not comedies. It's a good old traditional family picture that can be enjoyed on a second watching and a third, it it somewhat superficial but not in a bad away, the film doesn't just try to be some grandstanding hymn to tolerance but keeps it simple and straight and humorous.
The film was also nominated for Best picture, its second nomination, forcing the Academy to revise their criteria, it was in 2009 and I still remember how surprising the line up was, but retrospectively, there's something Best Picturesque about "The Blind Side", once you decide to cut the PC vision and look at it for what is is, a nice and tender family movie, touching, heart-warming and funny.
So let's not be blinded by the whole PC conspiracy agenda.
The Blind Side
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
The Blind Side
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Based on the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael's skills. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.
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August 08, 2012 at 06:36 PM