Holy cow! Sandra Bullocks won an Oscar for her performance in this movie? I thought she did well, but BEST actress of 2009? Well, I guess I can’t say anything since I haven’t seen a lot of movies of 2009…
The Blind Side will have a special place in my heart since it is about left tackles! I mean, how cool is that? Offensive lineman isn’t the most glamorous position, especially in the context of making a football movie, but this film shows off its football smarts by acknowledging the importance of the left tackle position. In this sense, the football film seems to put higher priority in pleasing its football-minded audience rather than the general public, which makes this film feel less generic and more intelligent.
A complaint I didn’t have time to express in my The Remember the Titans quick review is its annoying need to make every moment a dramatic one. Unfortunately, this is no different in The Blind Side. Michael Oher, a troubled African American teenager luckily accepted into a predominately white, Christian school, is actually a great protector of his high school quarterback when he starts playing left tackle. The problem is, he doesn’t know the rules, so he picks defenders off the ground, holds onto their horse collar, and draws many penalty markers from his borderline stupid coach at practice. Then Sandra Bullocks, playing mother figure Leigh Anne Tuohy, tells Michael to pretend his football team is his family, and all of a sudden, Michael is amazing left tackle… do I even need to say why this makes no sense? Michael did not need motivation to protect; he needed to learn HOW to protect in the confines of the football rulebook. Telling someone that his football team is his family does NOT teach him ANYTHING!!!
Sigh… while I guess this technically falls under the category of plot holes/contrivances, I’m sure this would have not happened had director John Lee Hancock not feel the need to give Sandra Bullock a moment to drastically improve the play of Michael. In fact, Hancock gives Bullock many lines of sassy dialogue to deliver, but only a few warranted the reactions of her fellow actors and actresses.
There are certainly other problems besides this; problems I would describe in detail if I felt it completely derailed the experience of watching The Blind Side, but it mainly just prevented the movie from being enjoyable. In all, it is an above average movie; one that has much room for improvement but is led by the admirable acting of Sandra Bullocks and the strong story of current Ravens left tackle Michael Oher. However, the biggest strength of The Blind Side is that it doesn’t care about football. Football is just a means for Michael Oher to be happy, and by the time he goes to the college he chooses and joins a true family, we can all be happy for him… and Joe Flacco.
Final Grade: C+ (79%)—Blind to mistakes, but The Blind Side overcomes as Michael Oher did.