Blind Side, The (Review)

BLIND SIDE, THE
(11/20/09; Biopic)
Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates
SCR/DIR: John Lee Hancock
MPAA: PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.
2 hours 8 mins
BOX: $252,736,267

Surprise box office hit provided Bullock with her Oscar-winning role as the real-life Texas socialite who reached out to an impoverished black kid from the wrong side of the tracks.

Her kindness turned his life around and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. It’s the Michael Oher (Aaron) story as seen through the eyes of Bullock’s feisty God-fearing matriarch Lee Ann Tuohy and, although it’s affecting and sentimental at times, it’s also filled with scenes that exist only to please crowds.

Count the number of times Bullock tells someone else how to do his or her job, right down to the scene where she steps in to give coaching pointers and nobody on the team argues. McGraw is unrecognizable as Lee Ann’s husband (maybe it’s the fact that we’ve never seen the country star without his ten-gallon black hat before) and provides ample support in the “wife” role.

Alas, Aaron’s sad-sack football player “Big Mike” has one expression: wounded man-child. But that’s fine because when Bullock’s on screen, you can’t take your eyes off her. Talented Bullock has rarely had the opportunity for such a showstopper of a role (well, there was 2005’s Crash but, while brilliant there, she was also unlikable).

FORGET THE ALAMO: The film was a nice bounce back from Hancock’s unfortunate 2004 war flick The Alamo, which cost a whopping $95 million and made less than a quarter of that back. (20th Century Fox)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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