This movie is shocking on several different levels. Some of those shocks are good and some of them are bad. In case you didn’t know, this is the true story of NFL player Michael Oher. Now before all the women reading this tune out thinking it’s a football movie, understand that his story is one of heartbreak, tragedy, kindness, and love…and a little football. One of the positive shocks to come from this was star Sandra Bullock’s performance. Get this - she was actually good! This might be one of the best performances of her career, but that’s not saying much since the bar wasn’t very high to begin with. She plays a plucky, strong, WASPie, Southern Belle that runs the wealthy family that saves Oher from his ghetto war zone he roams night after night as a teenager. Another positive shock was the performances from country singer Tim McGraw, who plays Bullocks husband, and the gentle giant, Quinton Aaron, who plays Oher. Aaron is relatively new to acting but could have a career as big as his stature if he continues to get roles like this. He’s able to convey so much sadness and defeat without saying a word, which works out for him since he only has about 25 lines in the whole film. One of the negative shocks is how long this movie is. It has a runtime of over 2 hours and as far as I could tell has no need for all that. The other negative shock is the casting of child actor Jae Head as the youngest member of The Tuohy family. Every scene this kid infects drips with hair-pulling schticks that would’ve made even Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone” roll his eyes. I could be in the minority on this since he seemed to earn laughter from most of the theater, but I couldn’t stand his annoying, hammy performance the entire movie. Another shock that I had in the movie, that was neither good or bad, was how overtly Christian it was. It almost seemed like it was made by a church group or Kirk Cameron. There is heavy emphasis put on the fact that the wealthy Tuohy Family takes Michael Oher in because it’s their “Christian Duty.” And in case you miss hearing that the first time in the film, don’t worry because they say it over and over and over again. I kept wondering why. Was it because they are trying to insinuate that more Christians need to be as charitable as that and many aren’t? Is it because they wanted to take the emphasis off of the idea that maybe The Tuohys did it out of White Guilt? Or was it to make you forget that The Tuohys were investigated by the NCAA for their role in raising Michael. I don’t know. But what I do know is that “The Blind Side” is a harmless and delightful movie that will make you appreciate what you have and want to help those who have nothing. It “Hollywoods Up” the true story to a level that I’m sure isn’t 100% accurate but when looking at the actual photos of the family during the end credits you can’t help but to tear up a little bit.
The Blind Side (Rated PG-13)Gavin Grade: B