I have mixed feelings about “The Blind Side.” I know it’s being heavily promoted during televised football games, due to some of its football content. And it’s based on a true story about a real football player. That’s all well and good, except I really don’t care much about football. And to me, the movie lost a lot of its lustre once it veered into football territory. The title is based on some football analogy, which I think boils down to “protect someone (you care about) on their blind side.”
The beauty of the movie lies in just that. As this parade of Oscar hopefuls come trotting by, this is the first one (other than Up, which premiered earlier in the year) which actually has a lot of heart. Our lead is a large black man named Big Mike, later Michael (played by Quinton Aaron), born to a crack-addicted mother and an absent father, who ends up in a private school through the assistance of one person who sticks their neck out for him (due to his potential sports ability).
He is noticed and taken in by rich, white Sandra Bullock and her family. There is no doubt, the way the movie unfolds, that it is a heart to heart connection. But nonetheless, the feeling that is left at the end is along the lines of: well, that’s all well and good for this one particular black man who is saved from his life of crack-hell, but what about the countless others who are not? And that’s really the feeling that I can’t shake about this movie. It so distinctly points out the disparity between the two worlds that it’s very discomforting.
That said, there are many heart-warming and kind moments. Sandra Bullock, being bantered around in Oscar circles for the first time ever with the words, “possible Oscar nominee,” is indeed wonderful and warm as the lead Leigh Anne Touhy. She is quite far from any role I’ve ever seen her in as the high-powered blonde Republican wife.
The movie skirts the issue of race adroitly. Michael is a person who needs Leigh Anne’s help, so she helps him. It is quite wonderful how the story breaks down like that. Simple. Anyone would do this.
So if you need a reminder what it means to show another person love, “The Blind Side” is a great movie to see. Not overly sappy or button-pushing, just sweet and kind. Like Sandra Bullock.