The Blind Side Review by Sam

After a delayed release to Australia and a delay in myself getting to the movies to watch this film, I finally got the privilege of seeing what most would call a “dark-horse” hit.

This movie surprised a lot of America when it was released. Made on a reasonably small budget of 29 million (small compared to today’s standards), The Blind Side came in at 2nd place at the box office with 34.1 million for it’s opening weekend, it’s entire budget, plus some nice gross. What some thought was a lucky weekend turned out to be a victorious run, jumping up (which is extremely rare) to 17.6% on its second weekend to 40 million. It was still in 2nd place at the box office, yet that was soon changed the week later, when even though it made 20 million, it finally hit 1st position. Word of mouth did this movie greatly, and over the films entire run in the U.S. alone, it made 254 million dollars! It’s still got a fair bit to make as well, due to the fact it has only recently been released to the rest of the world.

Ok, enough about money, and on to the actual film.

The Blind Side

As you may or may not have realised, I really enjoyed this film. It was a great feel-good story, with great drama. The performances of the film were outstanding, especially Sandra Bullock, winning her first Academy Award for her performance as Leigh-Anne Tuohy.

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock shines in The Blind Side

She really stood out in this film, connecting viewers to her character and her emotional ties to Michael Oher. An honourable mention should be given to Quinton Aaron who, in what some would call his break-through role as the struggling man, Michael Oher, gives a solid performance. I’m not too sure how he does it, but Aaron manages to portray the silent attitude Oher has, yet evokes immense emotion through his performance. On a whole, the entire ensemble cast did a great job.

The actual story of this film was a highlight, and really worth discussing. It follows the true story of Leigh-Anne and Sean Tuohy who take a young African-American homeless man, Michael Oher, into their home, and offer him love and support. They provide him with a family. The Blind Side offers a heart-felt and touching story that really goes beyond a typical, corny film, and brings to screen something much deeper.

Initially, I thought this film would have a lot more football in it. I actually really enjoy football movies (Remember the Titans being one of my top films),

Quentin Aaron in The Blind Side

Quentin Aaron in The Blind Side

and so I was quite thrilled at the prospect of watching what I thought was a film following the tracks of some of the great football movies we’ve all witnessed before. I was actually quite surprised to see something quite different to what I was expecting.

There’s a lot more focus to the struggles of Oher’s life in the film, showing the audience his difficulties with school, his issues with relational skills, and more importantly; the immense complications involved with his biological family. That’s not to say there weren’t some great football scenes, which provided a great sense of satisfaction for the character of Michael Oher, as well as some uplifting and well-timed comedic relief.

John Lee Hancock has brought together a fine product in The Blind Side. He struggled in his previous work in 2004 with The Alamo, which was a box-office flop and was poorly received by critics. But in this film, he brings together a concise plot with appropriate visuals in a not-so predictable way. This unique approach allows the strong themes of family and not worrying about what others think of you to overpower any predictable plot lines and/or corny dialogue, which may have been evident if it had been handled in a different way.

With this film, it wasn’t so much the cinematography, the music or even the editing that was a standout. Which is why, I’m guessing, it wasn’t nominated in any of these categories at the Oscars. The director chose to downplay these technical elements to bring more focus to the story, which was an extremely respectable decision. That’s not to say that they technical elements weren’t great, which they were. They were used in a subtle way so that the viewer’s attention was directed to the more important elements.

The Blind Side

Family is a strong theme in The Blind Side

In a lot of my reviews, I find it easy to highlight all the technical aspects of the film that made it an enjoyable viewing, but rarely (and there are some exceptions), is the story the standout feature of a film. The Blind Side’s story was the standout, and was a great relief for some of the more technically focused films I’ve seen of late.

I give it 4 film reels.

4 Film Reels

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