THE BLIND SIDE (John Lee Hancock, 2009)

A beautiful, moving performance by Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, a homeless Memphis teenager who is taken in off the streets and eventually quasi-adopted by a well-heeled couple with two other children, elevates an otherwise unexceptional, self-congratulatory drama based on the half of Michael Lewis’s book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game that is about Oher, his troubled childhood in the inner city projects and his hard-earned journey to becoming, on scholarship, a college football player after reversing a near total lack of education. Oher has since gone pro; he is currently an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.
     Some of the film belabors the idealized marriage of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy. Let us just say that, although the film depicts a “true story,” very little about it apart from Oher’s convincingly gradual growth has the ring of truth. Sandra Bullock is at her witty best as Leigh Anne, but nothing she does in any way suggests any growth of her character even though the script has her say that Oher’s coming into her life has changed her life. Bullock’s Leigh Anne, for which the actress won an Oscar, doesn’t change, doesn’t grow.
     John Lee Hancock wrote and directed the film without distinction in either capacity.
     My goodness, Gabourey Sidibe was cheated out of the best actress Oscar for Precious (Lee Daniels, 2009)—and Aaron was doubly cheated not even to have been nominated when his considerably less gifted co-star won in her category.

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