Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quniton Aaron, Kathy Bates, Ray McKinnon

Director: John Lee Hancock

Writer(s): John Lee Hancock, Michael Lewis (novel)

Cinematography: Alar Kivilo

Original Score: Carter Burwell

Running Time: 129 Mins.

The Blind Side arrives on this side of the atlantic amidst a wave of hype, biggest US box office ever for a film with a female star above the title, best actress Oscar for Sandra Bullock, inspirational true life story credentials…whether these sound like enticing factors for you is very much going to be the barometer for how much enjoyment you will reap from The Blind Side, factor in that it features American Football and something tells me it will not see the same levels of success repeated on a worldwide basis as those that have greeted it with open arms in America.

As a fan of the (good) inspirational sport’s story, even those featuring American football, I had little trepidation approaching The Blind Side, a long time, long suffering (Miss. Congeniality, All About Steve) Sandra Bullock fan, as many are, it is always nice to hear she is performing well even if the film isn’t up to scratch on the whole. Meaning all in all for me expectations were, if not high, quite ample, alas sadly this was a case of this years other film starring a Best Actor accolade, Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges , another example of an actor playing to their strengths and dropped in the middle of a deeply mediocre film, one that without its star turn would have no doubt been lost in lower pantheons of Hallmark true-life tales.

Plot wise the emotional heft is present and corrent, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock) is a head-strong, popular, rich and successful white collar Christian with the perfect family life and equally classy friends and oh so adorable children, on their way home from a church meeting one night the Tuohy’s pick up “Big” Mike Oher. Mike is a Merican Football prodigy but has no home and is living out of a carrier bag due to his his drug-addicted mother, adopting Mike the Tuohy’s set about helping him get his school grades up so he can play college football and fulfill his sporting potential, whilst connecting with his new family, making new friends, learning to drive and just become an all round good Christian!

If this all sounds rather cloying, it is. Bullock is great, and has her Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich no-nonsense style performance finely tuned to a T. Eminantly watchable and likeable, as ever, to boot, it is the kind of solid female role that doesn’t come along very often and through this you can over-look alot of the misgivings. Equally Quinton Aaron as Mike is very good and holds his own against Bullock for while she is the standout there is anough room left to allow the support cast to have their moments.

Despite the topic of American Football being at the centre of the film very little of the sport is actually shown, a saving grace for most of the UK who either dislike or don’t understand it. Leaving all the action to occur off the field, episodically jumping from Leigh Anne’s mission to gte the best out of Mike, interestingly the film takes a slight suprising turn in the final run and calls into questions Leigh Anne’s motives for helping Mike, it’s something that takes the supposed happy ending and leaves a slightly sour note over the tale, nicely offering some ambiguity it is just a shame that everything in the film is so definitively represented and hammered home.

VERDICT

With The Blind Side Sandra Bullock shines amidst a feel-good tale that has a slight sting in its tale. It’s just a shame that Christian do-good values seem to take precedent over everything else leaving Quinton Aaron’s Mike Oher, whom should be the heart of the story, out in the cold.

 

 

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