Feel Good Family Film Of 2009
The Blind Side may star Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, but the November 20 film's true celebrities are the real-life Tuohy family. Leigh Ann, her husband Sean, their children eight-year-old SJ and teenager, Collins.
Quinton Aaron portrays Michael Oher and is one of the year's larger-than-life film heroes. The adversity he overcomes in The Blind Side allows this actor performing in his first feature to make a bold statement with his debut film performance.
"He's a light," Bullock exclusively told SheKnows. Aaron is a revelation as Oher, but what also makes his tackling of the Oher role with ferocity so compelling is despite the Oscar-worthy performance of bullock, the film would not work without a simultaneously vulnerable and venerable lead.
Aaron as Oher, in this critic's mind, scores as the year's best big feature film debut for an actor. It is extremely difficult to capture the essence of someone as complex as Michael Oher without treading into over-dramatic melodrama. There is none of that from Aaron, but also the entire The Blind Side movie.
Again we come back to the fact that, although Oher is the subject of the celebrating of the Tuohy tale on screen, The Blind Side is at its heart the story of a woman who saw the universe present her an opportunity to make a difference. Not only did Leigh Ann Tuohy take in and adopt Michael Oher, but as she tells us, "he changed our lives more than we changed his."
Throughout The Blind Side, that sentiment is prevalent. The Tuohy's exemplify the American dream success story. Sean and Leigh Ann are both Southern classics. As Leigh Ann, Bullock scores the meatiest role of her career. Not only does Bullock nail the Tuohy essence, she takes it to another level to emotionally further drive an already emotional true story.
SJ, short for Sean Jr, on screen and in real life, relished the opportunity to have an older brother in Michael. Jae Head is bloody brilliant as SJ and is the perfect vehicle to essentially introduce Oher the upper-class world of Memphis that the Tuohy's inhabit.
McGraw, as the phenomenal successful singer he is, has to be choosy with his film acting roles. There's a softness to McGraw's performance as Sean that adds a layer of authenticity to The Blind Side that caught SheKnows by surprise. Yes, we were Blind Sided by McGraw's acting attributes. Always thought the world of him, but watching Flicka and Friday Night Lights, one could assume McGraw was portraying an extension of himself.
With The Blind Side, McGraw as Sean Tuohy proves that the country singer's talents expound way beyond his superstar country crooner status. McGraw and Bullock share impeccable chemistry that is impossible to predict when casting.
Yet, these two come together with the idea that the story they are telling is larger than either's participation in the The Blind Side experience and the rewards are relished by the audience. McGraw and Bullock are the perfect film married couple. One wonders if McGraw's real-life experience with his real-life wife Faith Hill was a priceless means to channel the highly successful husband of a Southern Superstar.
It takes a superstar to portray one and Bullock, who was initially reluctant to take the role, winds up with the role of her career in Leigh Ann Tuohy. In this year of stellar performances by actresses, we sincerely hope Bullock is honored with an Oscar-nomination. She is beyond worthy. But the reality is that she may not score that nom because many view this as her first "powerful" role. This, of course, is nonsense. Bullock rocks and always has -- The Blind Side is simply the perfect storm of Bullock arriving at a point in her career where the Tuohy story is one she feels compelled to tell, a true story that defines what is great in all of us this Thanksgiving and also the direction of John Lee Hancock.
Hancock directed The Rookie. Although Michael Oher is a football player (he currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens), The Blind Side is not a football film.
The Blind Side is a story of unconditional love that is the perfect family film. A rarity these days, taking in Bullock, McGraw and Aaron in The Blind Side allows a family to enjoy the movie theater experience without the unexpected blind-side scene that makes parents squirm.
The Blind Side is simply, one of 2009's best movies for families or anyone who seeks, appreciates or enjoys pure inspiration of the highest level.
Out of five stars:
Read on for more The Blind Side
Sandra Bullock exclusive video interview for The Blind Side