Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Film Review: The Blind Side

This movie is better than it has any right to be. Audiences have seen the same story before and from the same director, John Lee Hancock. The director of such inspiring true football stories as Remember the Titans and We Are Marshall is back at it again, this time with a lot less football.

The Blind Side tells the story of current Baltimore Raven Michael Oher and his rise from the urban slums of Mississippi to the packed stadiums of the National Football League. Sandra Bullock plays the woman who saves Oher from the ghetto.

Bullock has a bad reputation, primarily for not being a very good actress. With films like Miss Congeniality and the recent disaster All About Steve on her resume, it is hard to argue with the circumstantial evidence. See, however, Crash for a demonstration of what Bullock is capable of doing if given the right role. She is not quite as good here, but she is not working with the same caliber of material.

All the same, it is a good looking movie, well made, and well acted enough. It’s better than We Are Marshall but not as good as Remember the Titans. The reason is that Sandra Bullock is a better actor than Matthew McConaughey but not as near as good as Denzel Washington, and the movie rests on her shoulders.

The rest of the cast moves around her and reacts, but more than anything, they stay out of the way. It’s probably just as well. The movie feels long already, and any more character development might have proved unbearable.

One suggestion-- if you do see this movie, don’t go into it with any expectation of real discussion on race relations or inner-city poverty. It’s not about that. In fact, from a social justice perspective, Blind Slide drops the ball. It is, essentially, a more than two-hour movie about some rich, Christian white folk rescuing a poor black kid from…from what? I don’t know.

Like I said, though, it’s not about that, and it doesn’t have to be. The bottom line: if you like Hancock’s other movies or if you like Sandra Bullock, you will probably like this movie.

See it? Yes.

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