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May 4, 2011 / Prof Cupcake.

blinded by the banality of blind side

In general films about sports are worse then the real thing, primarily because one can not use the event as an excuse to get blind drunk and eat a bunch of fried chicken. Also heckling characters/players all the way through the films feels relatively taboo and there is not much point in doing so really because even if the protagonists team looses you can bet your tickets worth that the life lessons the team learn is better then any trophy. It’s not for just these reasons that the Blind Side is a massive disappointment of a film however, (especially since a good deal of it never deals directly with sports.) but more for it lack of forging any sort of viewer to character relationship, a fault of which I think might be partially blamed on Sandra Bullocks disarming hair dye.

The Blind Side is the Hallmark true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a southern woman who welcomes Michael Oher, a down and out kid into her home. Over the coming months the Tuohy’s and Michael grow close together and through their mutual friendship and love change each other’s lives. Something Leigh Anne, reminds the audience ever chance she gets through trite and heavy-handed dialogue aimed at delivering some sort of message.

Only Leigh Anne does not seem to change all that much, and Micahel, well he never really talks, and granted he smiles a few more times in the second half then the first, but if your intrigued by anything resembling character development you might as well know now that they all pretty much start the film and end it in the same place.

For me this is quite a disappointment as I was expecting a rather superb film. The acting is fine, (nothing to win an Oscar over) and the filmography is rather beautiful, but ultimately it is this films almost candy coated exploration of southern racisms that is truly appalling. Through out the entirety of THE BLIND SIDE, one is constantly asked to explore the tense relationship between an impoverished young black man and an effluent white woman living in two distinct worlds within the same city. Yet the film continues to shy away from the subject matter by only grazing the surface of what is undeniably and unfortunately still a massive social issue. In the films attempt to portray the Tuohy family as forward minded individuals, (as I am sure they are) they robbed the film of much of its inherent social commentary. By choosing to show truth as it probably happened, the film missed the opportunity to elevate the fiction to create a more powerful and lasting inspection of contemporary racism. The film works on the assumption that we are often blind to the world around us, be it the impoverished, the distressed or the lonely, of all colors and credos. The allegorical story of football thus gains strength as a narrative trope for it is not only a message on how we need to protect one another from the aliments we do and do not know are out there in the world, but on how we all have a blind side, a side we choose not to look out in which the ills of the world flourish.

This film felt the whole way through as if it wanted to be this other film. A film that explored racism and family and choice, through more then a few bitchy old women eating expensive salad and a short story on a crumpled piece of paper.

This film’s biggest failing is that it as to afraid to push the audience out of its own safety zone and allow it to explore through fact made fiction the depravity of modern culture.


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