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Movie Review: The Blind Side

Alternate Title: Precious Lite

Story: I feel so used. This popular family release film of the year manipulated us, tore at our guts and had so many uplifting moments I could barely think straight. So what's wrong with that, you say? Can't we just laugh, cry and feel good? Yes we can. However, the obvious lack of nuance, the serial vignettes of one turning point after another gave me heartburn. It was simply too saccharine for me. I needed some areas of gray. I needed some characters that had more than one dimension. I needed some surprises.

The film was directed and written by John Lee Hancock and was based on the book, The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. We all know the story by now, even if you did not see the film. Now famous NFL Ravens player, Michael Oher, was once out on the streets, out of luck and abandoned as a teenager, He was found, taken in and saved by the Touhy family of Memphis. More to the point, Leigh Anne Touhy. Mother Touhy knows what's right for everyone - all of the time. She is portrayed as one feisty lady who gets her way all of the time.

Other than the obvious problems that go along with a rich, white, southern family taking a huge young black man into their homes - we get no real complications. How can that be? How can all of the inherent difficulties that lie within this scenario be glossed over and fixed by as little as a one liner or a knowing glance. Leigh Anne Touhy manages to give heartfelt comeuppances to her doubting friends, gives advice to the coaches and essentially tells everyone around her how to live their lives. I, while finding difficulty disliking the character, at times, wanted to shoot her.

That said - I am sure this film will be enjoyed by people for a long time. It has all of the elements for guaranteed fun, with as little real depth as possible. I wish that even half of the people who saw The Blind Side would go to see Precious.

I said to my sister as we were leaving the theater that if this were not a true story I would not believe it in a million years.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khtBvQdxta4

Watch the real Michael Oher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FhlbsJUJ9Q

Acting: Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy has already won a Golden Globe and a SAG award for this performance. Will she win an Oscar? I do not think she deserves it but she will probably get it. Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy was blander than bland. Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher did not move me at all. Kathy Bates as Miss Sue was the one ray of true light. Lily Collins as Collins Tuohy was the only teenage girl on the planet with no raging hormones. Jae Head as S J Tuohy got me annoyed after a few scenes.

Trivia: Director John Lee Hancock is the son of John Lee Hancock Sr., who won Baylor University letters in football in 1950 and 1951. Hancock's brother Kevin also lettered four years as a 1981-1984 linebacker for the Bears.
John's other brother Joe played football (center) at Vanderbilt University.

Predilection: I like to see films that have garnered awards (deserved or not).

Critters: Surprisingly none.

Food: Lots of food including a huge Thanksgiving meal.

Sex Spectrum: None

Blatant Product Placement: Taco Bell, Taco Bell and Taco Bell.

Soundtrack: Overly cloying

Opening Titles: An introduction of NFL footage of Lawrence Taylor sacking Joe Theismann and I then learned about the blind side as a sports term.

Visual Art: Everything on the right side of town was clean and pretty.

Theater Audience: This audience was filled with perhaps the last 20 people in Manhattan to see this film.

Sappy Factor: 3

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Factor: I drifted quite a bit.

Predictability Level: Over the top

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No - but I will be wrong about this.

Big Screen or Rental: Either will do.

Length: Two hours.