The Blind Side
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Written by: John Lee Hancock (screenplay), Michael Lewis (novel)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, and Kathy Bates
Good wholesome Southerners have their movie to cheer for this year at the Academy Awards. John Lee Hancock’s bombastic, preachy and watered down The Blind Side is the one movie nominated for Best Picture this year that didn’t deserve its slot.
This is the crowd-pleasing, melodramatic sports movie that moved both the Monday Night Football crowd and Sarah Palin wannabes to tears. It also moved serious film critics to tears, but not for the same reasons. Hancock directs this film with a style right out of the sports film playbook, taking no chances and milking every crowd-pleasing scenario for maximum fluff.
“Sandra Bullock in a football movie,” is a great selling point for studio executives. In order to sabotage and exploit an audience’s emotions, you need a marketable lead. In the year 2009, there was no one more marketable (or undeserving of their profits) than her. Her Oscar nomination (and likely win) for playing Leigh Ann Tuohy is the result of a frivolous, cooly calculated business decision. Though her performance is the reluctant highlight of this film, it is by no means anything more than her spouting off clever one liners with a Southern accent. Bullock plays emotional-yet-controlled in almost all of her films, and never that greatly. She does the same thing here, but with a drawl so it’s Oscar worthy.