Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock

I finally got around to seeing this movie, mostly because I was really curious about Sandra Bullock's performance in it. After all, she garnered the Academy Award for her portrayal of Leigh Ann Tuohy. While I generally have no strong feelings regarding Sandra Bullock (before this I wouldn't have said that I despised her or really loved her - thought that she was cute), I wouldn't have expected her to pull off an Academy Award winning performance. Anyways...

This movie was released in 2009 and was directed by John Lee Hancock. It was based on the book The Blind Side: An Evolution of a game, written by Michael Lewis. It stars Sandra Bullock (as Leigh Ann Tuohy), Quinton Aaron (as Michael Oher), Tim McGraw (as Sean Tuohy, and yes, that would be the country singer). When we first meet Michael Oher, he's 17 years old, poor and bouncing around from foster home to foster home, mostly because he runs away. A father's friend manages to convince the football coach at a wealthy, private, Christian school that Michael is a natural athlete and, as a result, Michael is enrolled at the school. While at school, he befriends Sean Tuohy, Jr. and they become fast friends.  One day, after a Thanksgiving pageant at the school in which Sean has starred, Leigh Ann and Sean, Sr. see Michael walking down the street, in the cold and rain, shivering and wet.  Leigh Ann offers Michael a place to stay, becomes his legal guardian and helps him to navigate the worlds of school, scholarships and football so that he can get into a college.

The movie itself wasn't all that great - I had to keep reminding myself that the story is a true one, where Michael Oher actually was drafted into the NFL.  The movie was so sugarcoated that I thought that I was going to get cavities at least an hour into the movie, if I didn't have them already by that time. It also seemed to be steeped with stereotypes - the rich, white, highly coiffed woman helps the poor, athletic, black boy - and that made me feel really uncomfortable. There was also a ton of really bad product placement. Usually, good product placement is done so that the viewer is hardly aware that it's being done. But in this movie, Taco Bell and Borders Bookstores are ostentatiously placed in the viewer's faces, so that it's really hard to miss. 

As far as Sandra Bullock's performance, I don't see how or why she got the Academy Award for this role.  She wasn't charismatic, she didn't have to raise her voice or have any passion or anything of that nature.  I just don't think that the role or the performance was deserving of an award.

Good to rent, but probably not to own.

2 comments:

  1. Wow - this is the very first negative review I've heard of this movie! We saw it opening weekend and thought it was awesome. The fact that it was a true story was very touching. And the interview with Michael Oher himself reveals that MOST of it was very true to life.(There were a couple of things that were embellished, and he does talk about that.) Taco Bell plays a big part in it because Sean Tuohy owns it! Not sure about the significance of Borders though. Anyway - not everyone loves every movie - that would make for a boring world I suppose. I just find it interesting that I've never heard anything negative about it (through hundreds of people!!) until now! Of course, I'm sure there are others who feel the same way - I just haven't "heard" from them yet. :) Sorry you didn't like it!

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  2. Hi Melissa. I just discovered your blog by following a review in Goodreads. It looks like we like a lot of the same books and have some similar ideas (I also scanned your other blog). I often post book reviews on my blog, as well as other opinions and thoughts about being a mom (I have three boys aged 3 to 13). http://marie-everydaymiracle.blogspot.com/

    Hope you are enjoying your day!

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