Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
Directed By: Jon Lee Hancock
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, and Quinton Aaron
Rated: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Runtime: 128 min
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
When a film makes me want to read the book, I can think of nothing better. When the trailers for The Blind Side started circulating I rolled my eyes. Here is another “savior” film, remember Dangerous Minds, Michelle Phieffer stars as Louanne Johnson, an ex-marine and teacher that goes into the ghetto to inspire the “poor” teens to a better life. That film no matter how well intentioned always left a salty taste in my mouth? Was The Blind Side a sequel? Thankfully not!
In the Blind Side, Sandra Bullock has surpassed all of her other acting endeavors as hard charging, determined, and tough Samaritan Leigh Anne Tuohy; a well-intentioned suburbanite who unexpectedly and unconditionally, welcomes Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless African American youth, into her home.
Tim McGraw is holding steady and improving as an actor in his supporting role as Sean Tuohy, a “fast-food money buckets” courtesy of Taco Bell, and supportive husband to Leigh Anne, and strong father to daughter Collins (ironically played by an actress named Lily Collins) and son S.J. (Jae Head). Comic relief is provided by young Jae Head, and though we‘ve only seen this 3 foot 8 inch little person in a few television episodes (Friday Night Lights, Law and Order), his career should take a turn for the better after this film.
A nationwide hit, “The Blind Side” is a beautifully crafted film which evenly depicts all sides of this human dilemma with a crisp straight forward energy and frankness. An unexpected aspect of the film shares that the Tuohy‘s inherited an African American kid who did not know how to play football. Now‘s how is that for breaking stereotypes? Of course, Oher is taught how to play, which is amusing, and leads to some very interesting questions from the folks watching this occur. The questions make for a nice twist to the storyline, and food for social thought.
In the midst of the holiday “end of the world” releases, it is comforting to have a film which portrays the meaning of unconditional love in our society. Director Jon Lee Hancock has a real infectious tempo, a sweet rhythm to the story and his direction of these characters is powerful and poignant, just like this true, sometimes unbelievable story.
One of the many touching scenes in the film, which is still moving even though it is also in “The Blind Side” movie trailer, is when Leigh Anne shows Michael his room and the young man says “I‘ve never had one before.” “What, a room to yourself?” asks Leigh Anne. “No, a bed,” Michael solemnly replies. Oh heartstrings don‘t play so loudly!
Not one to cry at movies? Bring tissues anyhow just in case those crocodile tears escape you!
*Editor‘s note-I saw this film at a free screening sponsored by the studio. This is a common practice, and it in no way, affects my opinions about the film, or the content of my film review.