Tuesday, March 02, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: The Blind Side

Number of Nominations: 2 (Best Picture, Best Actress - Sandra Bullock)
Availability in the US: In Theatres (Check Showtimes)

The Blind Side tells the inspiring true story about a homeless, emotionally damaged boy who—with the help of a caring woman and her family—pulls his life together and becomes a star football player. Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a young black boy from a broken family who is homeless and slowly failing out of school. Leigh Anne Touhy (Sandra Bullock) feels sorry for Michael and takes him in, gets him a tutor (Kathy Bates), and strong-arms the football coach into adding him to the team's roster.

Sandra Bullock is at her absolute best in this film, giving the strongest dramatic performance of her career. Though she's best know for slapstick-style comedies, Bullock's emotional depth is evident here. The audience will genuinely believe in her devotion to, and motherly instincts towards, Michael, and when she cries you will want to cry along with her. Aaron as the traumatized Oher is fantastic; I am not the only person I've spoken to who was surprised that he has received hardly any accolades for his performance.

The film as a whole is inspiring and entertaining. It's impossible not to root for Michael and equally impossible not to feel bad for the troubles he has. Some of the lesser characters' performances come off as a little two-dimensional, especially Tim McGraw as Leigh Anne's husband, who is at times a little too cheesy for the role. Overall, however, the film is thoroughly enjoyable and heart-warming.

Though Bullock is the prohibitive favorite to win Best Actress, I don't believe she is the most deserving. Her performance is, as I mentioned, a personal best but, as anyone who watched the Olympics for the past two weeks will tell you, personal best doesn't always deserve a gold medal. In my opinion, while it is a strong, nomination-worthy performance, Gabourey Sidibe or Carey Mulligan would be a more worthy recipient of the Oscar. As I mentioned though, this is Bullock's year, and she will likely take home the award. A Best Picture Win, however, does not appear to be in the cards for The Blind Side.

Grade: B+

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