The Blind Side (2009)

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Must we? Must we acknowledge this as a Best Picture nominee? Now, I'm not saying it's an awful movie. I'm not saying it's on par with Crash. But just because it will give Sandra Bullock another chance to push someone out of her way on the Oscar stage... is that any reason to declare it one of the ten best films of the year? This movie will really hit the spot if it's the end of a hard week and you just want to be entertained on a nice night out with the girls. This movie will not hit the spot if it's Oscar season and you just want to watch high-quality filmmaking that doesn't involve soccer moms or Taco Bells. You know, growing up in the south, I often thought, "There just aren't enough films being made about the self-righteous, fake-tanned cheerleader's moms who would have shunned me had I been their child." So, thank God this film was made. It was the Christian thing to do.


...and then she falls down the stairs in her white bathrobe and socks and employs the help of her only friend, her Mexican housekeeper.

Me and Sandra Bullock pretty much have a hate-hate relationship, seeing as I hate pretty much everything she's ever been in (save, perhaps, Hope Floats?) and I'm pretty sure if we ever met in public, she really wouldn't be my biggest fan. I'm okay with this. But when it comes to reviewing The Blind Side, one isn't left with much else to talk about, seeing as her "legendary" performance has become, well, the entire film. And so, here we go:

Sandra Bullock is very competent in The Blind Side. It's not such a bad thing, this competency, in that she does a really great job of reminding us of someone we know, someone whose back seat we sat in as a youth, a woman who didn't allow food, drinks or muddy feet in her car. In the history of cinema, we've been introduced to A LOT of characters that we feel like we know: Clementine Krasinski in Eternal Sunshine comes to mind, as does "our new friend Sam" in Garden State. These aren't Oscar winning roles, perhaps in some way because they're "easy" performances, "easy" in the sense that we, as an audience, suspect that a part of these characters already resides in the performer inhabiting them. Some people make careers out of this. Sandra Bullock has made a career out of this.

So as we watch Sandy B. breeze through each and every scene with the utmost confidence, the perfect stagger in her step, one has to wonder: When was the last time Sandra Bullock was cast correctly? And perhaps that's been the problem all along, we haven't really been asking Ms. Bullock to, well, stop acting and just be herself. And it turns out in the end, Sandra Bullock is fully competent at playing Sandra Bullock. And we gave her an award for it. And we gave one to Kevin Spacey for doing it twice. And we gave one to Julia Roberts for doing it in context of playing a real person. And we gave one to Reese Witherspoon because, well, we all just like Reese Witherspoon. We almost gave one to George Clooney this year but then we changed our minds and gave it to Jeff Bridges instead for what I suspect is the very same reason. This isn't absurd. We do this often. It's just funny because it's, oh God, it's SANDRA BULLOCK!

The script blows. The other characters don't even make a blip on the radar, save Michael, who we just want to hug on because he's so large but entirely un-incharge. The Blind Side is, as I've narrowed it down this year in a sort of winning way, the free movie you get when you order two large pizzas at regular price from Papa John's as part of the Papa John's Family Pizza Pack.



This movie about a rich southern woman taking in an under-privileged Michael Oher (who went on to be a famous footballer) is not wholly un-entertaining. However, it certainly doesn't deserve to take its place amongst the Academy Award's top 10.

The story itself does promise intrigue value; but the over-glossed, White-bred, Christian, Disneyfication of the story gives this picture "Red-State" conservative value. It is, in fact, a movie that you can take your whole White family to, but it doesn't offer the grit the story deserves.

Besides Sandra Bullock's merely adequate performance, The Blind Side offers a wide array of extremely piss-poor acting. Many have naturally compared this movie with the other 'underprivileged Black teen movie' Precious. However, where musicians Mariah Carey and Jimmy Hendrix hold their own as notable supporting acts in Precious, The Blind Side's musician Tim McGraw completely fails. Along with McGraw, the actor playing Michael Oher as well as the actress playing Oher's interviewer, quite frankly, suck. The only other decent (and probably best) performance belongs to Kathy Bates as Michael Oher's tutor.

I would only suggest this film to rich White Republicans who want to feel good about themselves, and who do not want to think (too much) as usual.