Starring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Jae Head, Kathy Bates
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Expectations: Super low. I’m only watching this because the Academy in all their stupidity granted this one of the abundant ten best picture nominations and I am a glutton for punishment.
Okay, here’s the deal. If I were to rate this movie purely on its technical merits, it would be low. One star perhaps. I won’t do that though as the basis for this movie, the true story, is good enough to add a star to this otherwise boring and pedestrian film. This is post-Oscars and everyone knows that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for this role. If you had any shred of faith left in the Academy, if No Country for Old Men‘s sweep a couple of years back had you re-thinking your hatred, then awarding Bullock the Oscar here should quickly stomp out that last dying ember. She does well enough in the role, but she’s exactly the same as she’s been in countless other movies, albeit with a southern accent this time around. To me, that doesn’t spell Oscar worthy. I’d like to see Sandra Bullock play a truly different role and surprise me sometime. I’m not holding my breath though.
The only award I would have given this film is the award for Worst Editing in a Motion Picture Scene, going without question to the scene in which Michael Oher fights a gang member and busts up his apartment. In the space of three seconds there’s about 15 cuts that serve no purpose whatsoever except to confuse the viewer. Did he just hit that guy? Or did the guy just hit him? Who knows? It defies all good reason and neither shows or tells us anything meaningful.
For those that don’t know, The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, a teen in foster care who rose to great heights thanks to the efforts and kind hearts of the Tuohy family. It’s all fairly predictable, but as it’s a true story that’s forgivable. For me though, as inspirational and uplifting as this story may be, there’s no good reason to watch this. The image composition is bored and ugly, with most of the film boiling down to a bunch of talking heads with out-of-focus backgrounds. The music by Carter Burwell, who has done some great work on Coen Brothers films, is also awful. It was at times out-of-place and jokey and at others… wait for it… touching, piano music. Yeah, this movie really isn’t for me. I also had a problem with the fact that Michael Oher never seemed to care about playing football at all. It was assumed that he wanted to play because he was big and he’d be good at it. Who knows if that’s how he is in real life, but the theatrical Michael Oher didn’t seem to care much about the sport.
I can understand if you think this story is uplifting. How can you not? I happen to like some style with my substance though, and this has none.