Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Blind Side


What makes it a feel good movie is either: a) the fact that anyone could actually relate to Big Mike's dilemma, which has something to do with acceptance and sense of belonging; or b) that unconscious sense of pride felt upon realizing that human beings, as a race, still have that innate ability to trust and care for each other; or c) both.

The movie is about football, but it is not just all about that. This side of the film would make anyone unfamiliar to football feel lost, specially if you do not know the rules of the game. The title of the movie itself actually refers to a technical terminology of the sport. At times, you would feel lost during those scenes like in the opening sequence for example, where a woman with a Southern accent, who turns out to be Sandra Bullock, narrates an ongoing game. But again, it is not all about football. More than that, it is also about family and community, to which one could easily relate.

Anyone who has been to high school would have easily felt like an outcast, one way or another, although they would not admit it. It is in this period of one's life that the desire to belong to a group and the desire to feel appreciated are strongest. This is the time when one begins to realize his/her potentia, and it is very important to be surrounded by people who not only believe in you but rather also do their best to help you realize that potential you hold to the fullest. This is what happens in this movie. It is not only the Tuohys but also the school teachers, the coach, the football players, Ms. Sue, who turn Big Mike into their community project. They all adopted him somehow, in different ways they can and he turned out to be a success story that is well worth it.

Blonde Sandra Bullock in this movie has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Actually, she has been sharing and splitting the big acting awards with Meryl Streep. And so the question, will she win the Oscar? Sandra plays the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy very well and her motherly instincts transcends the screen that you actually feel it. On a personal bias, I would still give the Oscar to Meryl Streep. She WAS Julia Child. I am not saying that Sandra was not Leigh Anne Tuohy because in fact, she was, and Meryl gets nominated every year anyway but I think the latter deserves to win this time. But hey, Sandra winning would nowhere be near the vicinity of the word undeserving. This is her best performance to date and if she gets rewarded for it, I really would not mind. I honestly think Meryl should win but I think Sandra eventually would.

The movie blends drama and comedy really well, so it would be pointless to box it into just one classification. There are no boring parts for the scenes are a mix of different genres, giving you an adrenaline rush with a football game, evoking a few laughs care of witty dialogues and awkward situations, and then tugging a few heartstrings with the showcase of humanity and ohana love. That kid SJ really makes you laugh and Sandra Bullock switches between drama and comedy without much of an effort. Kathy Bates appears after an hour as Ms. Sue, which adds more to the fun of it all.

There is a scene at the ending where Leigh Anne Tuohy narrates again, this time about another 20 something African American in the slums. He is a good athlete and student but dropped out and got killed in a useless display of violence. She reflects on how that guy could have been her Michael. It also makes you think about it, what if there were another Leigh Anne Tuohy who took that young man in? Then he could have contributed much more to society by harnessing his gifts. But then again we are struck by reality. Not everyone has a Leigh Anne Tuohy within them to achieve that kind of effect on another human being. That is what makes this film seem awesomely feel-good, because it makes you see that there are still a lot of people like the Tuohys here on Earth. And even if you are not one of them, the two hours you spend in the cinema makes you think, at least for that moment, that you are. Of course, what happens after you leave is entirely up to you. Are you ready to change a person's life? Or better yet, are you ready for them to change yours?

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