Friday, November 27, 2009

The Blind Side

A terrific true story of a poor, homeless, Black American teenager who is taken in by a well to do white family is given a sugar-coated screenplay making it the "feel-good" holiday movie of the season. It's the story of Michael Oher, who manages to succeed at academics,and with the help of his adopted family, gets a football scholarship at Mississippi State. This kind of true life tale can be a true inspiration but gets bogged down in a sanitized script that ultimately still succeeds on the strength of it's cast.

Sandra Bullock stars as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the feisty mother, who feels sorry for "Big Mike" and takes him home and under her very protective wing. Ms. Bullock inhabits the role completely and is just terrific in the part. It is easily one of her best roles to date. Country singer Tim McGraw plays her husband and does a good job as second fiddle to the fiery Leigh Anne. Newcomer, Quinton Aaron plays Michael Oher and he is excellent, especially with very little dialog. He has great expression and uses it effectively in every scene.

It's a great success story but the film manages to make everything look too easy. The film lacks tension until a potential problem near the end, which is resolved rather quickly. I enjoyed the acting and the football background but the film left me wanting more than a 20 second flashback of Mr. Oher's back story. In real life, I'm sure Mr. Oher's triumph came with more blood, sweat, and tears.

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