Sunday, 7 March 2010
REVIEW: The Blind Side
Now this is a UK exclusive, as this film strictly isn't released here for another couple of weeks, but thanks to a special one-off charity screening I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for, here it is. For Americans reading, a sarcastic big whoop is surely in order, since you guys saw this film eons ago, but for UK readers I must look pretty badass right now. Well as badass as a film blogger can be. Who just told you that is feat of badassery was something he entirely stumbled into, with truly no skill of his own. Oh dear.
The Blind Side, which rode the Christian advocate wave all the way to multiple Oscar nominations, is a likable film I guess, but hardly mind-blowing. It follows a wholesome nigh on saintly Christian Republican family who adopt a an impoverished black kid, known only from a distance as Big Mike, and nurture his talent for American Football. Its not hard to see why this film did so well, it caters to an audience Hollywood largely ignores, Republicans, and portrays them as well as anyone could wish to be portrayed. This family is so ridiculously warm and close-nit, at times it feels a little silly. Bullock is good I guess as the ball busting yet sensitive matriarch, but its a showy role with nothing really going on underneath. The 'give this bitch on oscar' scenes come thick and fast but Bullock plays the character in a way that you can certainly catch her acting. The film tells its uplifting story with little complexity and approaches both its comedy and drama with the same well-meaning but way too simplistic attitude. Quinton Aaron gets little to do but react to Bullock and co. and the film skews its focus from him and in particular from his less then hallmarky upbringing which to be honest the film keeps at too much of a distance.
You can't tell a triumph of the human spirit movie by keeping what needs to be overcome off-screen. Or you can, but as a consequence it is less useful as a film and more useful as a flat sugar-fix for the self-esteem. It'll make you feel better, but not for too long.