I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Blind Side (2009)

I delayed going to see this movie initially.  I thought, "It's another one of those downtrodden-person-of-color-gets-their-live-saved-by-caring-white-person movies."  It's been done too many times before, and sometimes, it comes off as offensive.  But two things save this movie: it's a true story, and Sandra Bullock's performance.

Bullock portrays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a well-to-do Southern wife.  She's married to a successful businessman named Sean (Tim McGraw), and they have two children, Collins (Lily Collins) and S.J. (Jae Head).  One night while out driving with her family, she spots Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron).  He's walking in the cold with no coat.  After finding out he has no where to go that night, Leigh Anne takes him into her home. 

Soon, Leigh Anne discovers that Michael comes from a hard background: an absentee father, a drug addicted mother, a family split up by foster care.  Michael attends the same private school where Collins go, but he's been admitted mainly because of his size.  He's big, and Burt (Ray McKinnon), the school's football coach, sees gridiron glory on the horizon.  But Michael's academic skills are extremely low.  But he's good at football, and despite doubts from her husband and her friends, Leigh Anne believes in Michael's potential as a human being. 

Bullock's performance as the tough-but-loving Leigh Anne raises this movie from the often predictable, feel-good story.  However, the script tells the story through the eyes, and not enough from Michael's point of view. 

Ms. Bullock first gained fame through the blockbuster movie Speed (1994).  Tim McGraw is practically unrecognizable here; he's better known as a country music star.  Kathy Bates, who won an Oscar for her performance in Misery (1990), appears as a tutor to Michael.  The real Michael Oher is now a pro football player.

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