The Blind Side: 4 red vines for pure joy

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The Blind Side scores 4 Red Vines for pure joy.

Saving the Best for Last. Does Sandra Bullock know something we don’t?  The prolific actress seems to be working on borrowed time, squeezing in no less than 3 major releases in one year.  But I am happy to say that she saved the best for last with “The Blind Side”.

This time around Bullock stars as a real life steel magnolia Memphis mama.  I confess I would have been less than eager to see a football centric movie as anything that has to do with sports from little league games to Olympic competitions bores me.  But I was sold on the trailer and was actually looking forward to seeing this movie.  I am happy to report that I was not disappointed and I guarantee you won’t be either.

Based on the true life story about a wealthy family who takes in a black, homeless teenager, “The Blind Side” is more about family love, dedication and support than it is ‘the love of the game’.  But there is a healthy dose of rough and tumble field action, too.  The boy the family takes in is Michael Oher, who goes on to become a first round NFL draft pick in 2009.  Yeah, the story is that fresh.  With a Hollywood ending so sweet that even Hollywood could not make it up!

Bullock simply gives a great performance, understated yet determined.  Classy and brassy.  Quite but determined.  And her supporting cast is more than up to sharing screen time with this most accomplished actress.  Playing her husband is none other than Tim McGraw.  I know he’s been quietly pursuing an acting career, though this is the first time I have seen him on the big screen.  I don’t know if he can play anything stronger than a nice southern dad but he does that part just fine by me.  Playing the gentle giant, Big Mike, is Quinton Aaron.  He’s a relative newcomer to acting, too but shows great promise delivering a touching, tear jerking and rousing performance.  Kathy Bates has a small role as Mike’s tutor to educational greatness, giving everything she’s got.  But it’s little Jae Head as Bullock’s son SJ that steals every scene.  It’s hard to play a precocious kid and not be too creepy sweet or obnoxious but Jae is more than up to the challenge. He reminded me from the very start of a young Billy Mumy.  He is so much fun to watch!

There is a very small scene towards the end that is very necessary but fairly adult.  Other than that, I would say it took all year for Hollywood to release a really good family movie but they finally got one out in the last quarter.  It carries a PG-13 rating and if that doesn’t scare you off, you won’t find a more inspiring, entertaining, feel good movie out there this holiday season.  And that’s a promise.

Movie Ladies Room Lowdown: Okay, it was lost on me but if you are a college football fan you will get a real kick out of all the real life coaching ‘greats’ that play themselves in this movie.  And that goes double if you are from Mississippi or Tennessee!

Related The Blind Side links:
> Official The Blind Side website
IMDB: The Blind Side
> Wikipedia: The Blind Side