The Blind Side combined several elements that usually don’t work for me, and ended up being my favorite film of the year (so far).
First of all, Sandra Bullock is one of my least favorite actresses. I almost never enjoy her movies. In this film, her acting is superb, heartfelt, and Oscar-caliber.
John Lee Hancock, the director, has very little else to his credit, with the exception of 2004’s “The Alamo.” Most of the time, I don’t like movies from new directors. This one blew me away.
I also usually don’t like sappy, “feel-good” movies. They’re usually full of bad acting, or overacting, incredibly clichéd writing, and sappy cinematography. The Blind Side had none of these.
The movie is based on a book, which was based on the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless black teenager who was taken in by a well-to-do white family, the Tuohys. Oher went on to become an All-American left tackle at Ole Miss and now plays football for the Baltimore Ravens (I saw him on TV Sunday night, as the Ravens beat my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers).
Quinton Aaron pulled off the role of Oher extremely well, tugging at the audience’s heart-strings without being too sappy or pathetic. Bullock, as previously mentioned, was amazing in her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the woman who took charge of Oher’s life.
The two kids who played Oher’s white siblings — Lily Collins and Jae Head — were also spot-on. In fact, the weakest link in the acting troupe was probably Tim McGraw; his performance felt like it was in one of those made-for-TV Christian movies. Sometimes. At other times, you wanted him to be your own Dad.
From start to finish, this film was handled well and with great effect. There are hilarious moments, sad moments that made my throat hurt, and a few scary moments.
Hancock made an excellent decision when directing the filmwork; all of the cinematography feels natural. It’s in the background. No shaky handicams during action scenes, no distracting camera angles. In this, he breaks from current trends, thankfully.
Conclusion: I waited a week to review this movie, to make sure I was honest about it, and I still feel the same way. It’s the best movie I’ve seen all year.
IMDb: The Blind Side
Wikipedia: The Blind Side
(for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual reference)
Length: 128 min. (2:08)
Director: John Lee Hancock
Genre: Sports / Drama
My Rating: 10 of 10
Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Lily Collins, Ray McKinnon, Kathy Bates, Catherine Dyer