The Blind Side - Online Review

'in a movie world where being 'edgy' seems to be a necessary pre-requisite for being 'good', what's really wrong with a bit of mushy sentimentality?'

Although the proud recipient of an Academy Award for Sandra Bullock's performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy, The Blind Side seems to have received its fair amount of critical maligning over the last year or so. This maligning hasn't been the sort of ear-bashing levelled at your common-or-garden Jennifer Aniston rom-com but has rather been a concerted effort to collectively label the film as 'average'.

Its good but its just too mushy, the reviews say. Its good but its positivity is stifling. Its good but its like watching a Disney animation.

In a movie world where being 'edgy' seems to be a necessary pre-requisite for being 'good', what's really wrong with a bit of mushy sentimentality? Who doesn't want to watch the occasional Disney animation? Has positivity in film died a death, replaced solely by features which are 'dark'?

I hope not. The Blind Side is, yes, a film full of 'do-gooders' doing good. Its full of hope, of kind acts, of people triumphing over odds you cannot possibly hope to fathom without delving in to the back story. Its full of positivity and completely absent of cynicism.

It is also an excellent film. Bullock is transformed, magnificent, as the charming southern housewife who takes no prisoners and whose iron exterior (obviously) holds a warm heart. Director John Lee Hancock's script is light, touched with humour and easy-to-follow for the non-American Football convert. It doesn't preach morals where it quite easily could have, it doesn't get bogged down in detail where so many 'true story' dramas do and it isn't bereft of depth and invention as some would have you believe - look for the repeated 'children's story' motif which, by the way, shows you that Hancock knows exactly what sort of film he's making here.

Having said all that, the inevitable emotional payoff might tug at the heartstrings too much for even the most open-minded of viewers and the trotting out of 'look, this was all real!' footage towards the end is a miss-step. Bullock is grandiose but opposite her Tim McGraw is marginalised and Quinton Aaron not as strong as he should have been.

It's not perfect but it is a million miles away from average. Average: a word which shouldn't be confused with 'lacking cynicism'.

The Blind Side is currently available to watch online via Sky Player for users with an appropriate subscription.

Look further...

'The story itself is one that includes sport, and is driven by sport, but this is NOT a sport movie. This is, at its heart, a family drama' Androyd Films, 9/10


  1. This is definitely a movie that has gathered a reputation that has preceded it. I haven't actually seen it and yet I know more about its slating from the critics than I do about it's plot!!
    Funny how a movie can get a reputation isn't it? I have heard though from people who have seen it that it isn't bad.
    I agree with you. If a movie shows any sort of sentmentality it is immediately panned ( as do movies that portray anything remotely topical or too close to home in truthfulness ). What is the old proverb? ignorance is bliss?

  2. Sentimentality can be cloying and unnecessary and over-played but its inclusion in a film doesn't immediately mean that that film is going to be awful. I think THE BLIND SIDE is a great watch, a really brilliant story and a worthy Oscar-winner for Bullock but a lot of people seem to have somehow seen past that and gone straight for the supposed 'mawkishness' of the plot.

    The other point that's perhaps worth adding is that its a true story which revolves around such 'unfashionable' ideas as kindness, good deeds, selflessness, etc. How can you possibly cut any/all of that out if you're taking that story to the screen? Highly recommend you take a look at it when you get chance Brent.

  3. I don't think this is a bad movie, but I don't necessarily agree it's a 4/5 - or in that range - movie either. I gave it a 6ish, if I recall correctly, and repeat viewings has held that score just right by me.

    As to your talk of the film. I don't think anyone really begrudges the film for its kindness, maybe it's hokey nature of it - but it's a true story made by Disney so one can't whine too much there. The main component that really brought this film down in my eyes was this: It is HIS story and yet they made it through eyes of, and in turn about, the Family. Now I get that there's something to be said for us learning about him as they learn about him. But I don't feel it was made for that effort. It honestly felt to me that they made the family the focal point in an overt effort to do a little bit of whitewashing to the film.

  4. It's a good point and I've seen that argument around the place. My counter-point to that would be that although his story is what makes the film, their is *a* story to be told from the Tuohy's point of view as well. Some of the things Oher does are amazing but equally some of the things that Leigh Ann does are too. One doesn't need to blank out the other.

    Think of it this way; ZODIAC takes a complex story, shoots for one possible part of it and, largely, presents it solely from that point of view (i.e; that the guy it focuses on is the killer). That doesn't stop someone from making a film from a different viewpoint suggesting that someone else might have been the killer.

    I get what you're saying but I don't think the fact that this version of THE BLIND SIDE story features plenty of the Tuohys necessarily makes it a bad film.