FILM REVIEW: The Blind Side

Director: John Lee Hancock

There is a price to be paid to won the Best Actress award at the Oscar’s. Firstly, an actress needs to change her appearance. Secondly, it appears that a complicated love live is also required. Sandra Bullock appears to have ticked both boxes. For her role in The Blind Side, Bullock may have not gone all Charlize Theron on us and gone from screen siren to overweight mass murderer, but she did dye her hair blonde. On top of this, her seemingly steady marriage Jesse James floundered within weeks of Bullock accepting her statuette.

However, this is not a review of Bullock’s hair colour nor her private life, but rather the rather brilliant, if very television movie-esque “The Blind Side” for which Bullock deserves much applause.

I can honestly say that there has not been a film since “Speed” in which Bullock had appeared that has held my attention past the opening credits. Even “Miss Congeniality did not float my boat. Yet “The Blind Side” sees a return to form for the once promising young actress. The real life story upon which “The Blind Side” is based garnered a lot of attention, so Bullock should be given due credit is seizing a golden opportunity to return to Hollywood A List.

The premise is simple. From the outside looking in, it seems that Leigh Ann Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) has the life that most people seek. Her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) is incredibly supportive and the pair dote on their two lovely children S.J. (Jae Head) and Collins (Lily Collins) But all that is set to change when Leigh Ann sees a larger than life teenager on her drive home.

Big Mike (Quinton Aaron) will prove the turning point in Leigh’s life. Practically homeless, Big Mike is withdrawn when Leigh approaches him. In a brave move, Leigh decides that she will take the challenging youngster into her own home, with full support of her family. It is is only once he has moved in that Leigh decided to dig a little deeper. She discovers his full name, Michael Oher, and sets out to find out more about her mysterious friend in the hope of helping him out.

Performance wise Bullock does not fail to impress. Her steely, emotional performance proves a career defining moment. Whilst “Pulp Ficton” revived Travolta’s dwindling career, or “The Wrester” Mickey Rourke’s, “The Blind Side” could prove the salvation that Bullock so desperately craved.

The film as a whole is nowhere near as powerful as Bullock’s turn, though it does boast some other strong performances. Jae Head is a real talent to watch, with his performance proving scene stealingly stunning. Equally Quinton Aaron gives a solid, rounded if occasionally emotionally devoid performance.

“The Blind Side” without Bullock may have faded, but Bullock lifts it effortlessly into talking material.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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