The Blind Side (12A)

2.00

Sandra Bullock was apparently a very good sport about picking up a Razzie for the worst performance of 2009 in All about Steve, and a few days later accepted her Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side with equally becoming modesty.

While you wouldn't begrudge her the award for her performance as a real-life Memphis mother of two – there is an energy and fire in this combative matron – you have to wonder how anyone in the Academy could really be taken in by a film so utterly detached from the one thing it's meant to be rewarding: drama.

Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, an affluent Southern mum who out of the goodness of her Christian heart takes in an impoverished black teenager named Mike Oher (Quinton Aaron), makes him a part of her family and encourages him to fulfil his potential as an American football player. It's a remarkable true-life story, which the writer-director John Lee Hancock has distilled into Disney syrup: a forlorn outsider meets his fairy godmother and rises to greatness. Somehow we expect Leigh Anne's act of charity to ruffles a few feathers, yet her husband, son and daughter accept Mike in their home without a peep. One or two of her prissier lunch companions let themselves down, and she faces off a leering thug from Mike's ghetto past, but there is hardly a moment when Leigh Anne's force of will looks likely to be knocked off course.

Part of the problem lies in the characterisation of Mike, a shy, taciturn youth who's reluctant to talk about his awful upbringing (a dead father, a drug-addict mother who abandoned him), leaving a great big hole for Leigh Anne to fill with grace-at-dinner piety and a crushing self-righteousness. Not enough that she ticks off a beardy redneck who's barracking Mike two rows back at the ball game; she also invades football practice to deliver her personal brand of coaching to her gentle-giant protege, unlocking his protective instincts towards the team's quarterback ("think of him as me").

The only wrinkle of controversy comes at the end, when a tough-minded childcare bureaucrat raises the possibility that Mike's career choices may have been manipulated by his adoptive parents: does Leigh Anne have her own blind side, too? The doubt pops up, only to be dumped on its backside in the manner of Mike's monster tackles on his opponents. Phew – the five-minute tension is over. The Blind Side is plainly designed to make whole swathes of Americans feel good about themselves, and perhaps make everyone else ponder a selective act of charity few of us would be capable of. It is heartwarming; it is tender; it is remorselessly unexciting.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer