BLIND SIDE, THE
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