(129MIN, CERT: 12A)
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Jae Head, Kathy Bates.
Available on Blueray and DVD from Monday, comes a story taken from the best-selling novel The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, inspired by true events and the winner of two academy awards, The Blind Side captures an extraordinary insight into the life of Michael Other aka ‘Big Mike’.
Academy award winner Sandra Bullock for Best Actress in her role stars as Leigh Anne Tuohy, an upper-class female living in America whom out of her own initiative decides to mother Big Mike (Aaron Quinton), after realising he has nowhere to stay on a stormy winters night. What was set to be an act of good will for one night, soon developes into a growth of emotions when both start to become attached to one another, with Big Mike slowly adapting to life in the Tuohy household.
Unsure of Mike’s past, Tuohy (Bullock) decides to take it into her own hands to discover the past of the 17 year-old she has been mothering. When discovering the true reality of his past, of which his mother was too unfit to care for him due to drug usage and Mike himself being the result of a one night stand, Tuohy soon realises the pure damage of Mike’s younger life.
Taking into consideration what she has witnessed, the Tuohy family decide to make Mike one of their own and gain permission to adopt him into their own family. Trying to turn Mike’s life around, the Tuohy family realise that his academic skills have not always been up to scratch but after surprisingly discovering Mike has achieved 90% within his ‘protective instincts’ test the Tuohy’s persuade the school coach to let Mike try out for the school football team allowing his protective instincts to be put to good use.
Impressing the school coach and succeeding in all his school football games, Colleges across the United States soon come to realise the true qualities Mike possess and one by one start to offer him ‘exclusive’ offers to join them. With the help of a home tutor to boost his academic skills, Michael soon achieves the qualifications needed to attend the university of his choice. With a few hiccups coming between him and the selection process, Mike eventually reaches a decision, which feels best suites himself.
With my personal tastes generally not attracted to American sport drama’s, the plot and acting as a whole had me gripped from beginning to end, experiencing a mix of emotions throughout the 129 minutes of the film allowing me to build up a personal connection with both Bullock and Quinton.
With Quinton practically anonymous to me before this time and true to say I am not the biggest fan of many of Bullock’s previous pictures, both seem to really step into the shoes of the real life characters they are replicating. With Quinton practically new to the ‘film-scope’, starring in only a small amount of pictures before now, I give credit to the casting director for show-casing Quinton’s first ‘professional’ début of which I am sure will be the start of many more successful motion pictures to come.
Bullock also seems to carry her character extremely well and true to the facts acts out a personality that is new even to the likes of Bullock herself, whom has seemed to play much more humourous characters in her more recent outings. (The Proposal, All About Steve) Bullock manages to pursue her character in a more toned down attitude in this picture, surprising audiences throughout, leading to the much deserved Academic Award for Best Actress earlier this year.
Grasping only two nominations at the Academy Awards, it is a real disappointment that The Blind Side did not manage to receive more, unfortunately not grasping the award for Best Picture either. However the film came at a time when competition in the film industry was at its highest with the likes of James Cameron’s Avatar, An Education, and The Hurt Locker all featuring in a number of awards within the same categories.
An emotional road trip at the least, The Blind Side took myself and audiences on an emotional insight into the true events that would not have been discovered without the help of director John Lee Hancock, whom is set to start on future pictures for audiences all over to enjoy.