Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Watching "The Blind Side"

So I watched "The Blind Side" on Good Friday for the first time. Besides the surprise at my church picking a movie with profanity to watch - especially since we don't do it for Youth Group - I was surprised that I enjoyed it given my reservations of seeing it. I didn't really want to see a White family adopt another Black kid and play up certain stereotypes.

But when I saw a 20/20 special where Michael Oher said that the Tuohy family genuinely loved him and took him in because nobody else, I began to reconsider. And sure enough, I felt the emotion of the movie. Still had some issues though

1. They made him out to be unfamiliar with football. Having covered HS sports for 3 years, I can tell you that there are late bloomers who become top-flight recruits but rarely do they make a national impact. In fact, Oher was an All-State lineman and on the national radar as a junior - the movie shows him as a senior who had to learn the game on the fly the previous summer.

2. They made Oher look like a gentle, but dumb giant. Granted, his GPA needed work but they made it seem like he was a bit dumber than I thought - you'd figure a kid who'd been through the system was a bit more street smart even if he has a heart of gold. They had to hold his hand way too much in that movie and I cringed a bit because it made him feel like another modern example of "white man's burden"

3. Sandra Bullock acted very well in that movie but at no time did I think I was watching an Oscar-winning performance. It just showed me it had to be a weak Best Actress field - Meryl Streep nominated for making the most of a fluff role? Watch Inglorious Basterds and tell me Christoph Waltz doesn't blow your mind and convince you he was Oscar-worthy. Sandy just didn't overwhelm me.

That said, it's a feel-good movie and with Oher's accomplishments in college and the NFL - not to mention how intelligent he is to have a degree in criminal justice - it's worth seeing. Root for the kid as a promising tackle on the Ravens.

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