Alright, enough is enough.
I didn't write anything at first after seeing "The Blind Side" because it left my largely unaffected save for the same general annoyance given off by it's trailer, which I'd already covered. But seeing it blossom into some kind of real success, and now people are talking an OSCAR for Sandra Bullock (Sandra Bullock!!??) I'm compelled to get into this.
"The Blind Side" is fucking horrible. At first seemingly forgettable, but it HANGS there like a sore... I find myself coming back to it in my head, realizing just how awful certain aspects of it are. It's worse than worthless - it's an "anti-good" film; it's existance lessens the world around it.
It's based loosely on a sports book of the same name from the author "Moneyball," which details the rise to prominence of the Left Tackle position in professional football. The "human interest" aspect of the story focused on Michael Oher, an NFL pro who started out as a near-homeless teenager who's life turned around after a local rich family more-or-less adopted him. He's black, they're white, is the "hook." The film gives lip service to the sports-history context, but it opts to focus mainly on Oher's story... without actually focusing on him. Instead, it reworks itself into a star-vehicle for Bullock as the tuff-love matriarch who takes him in.
And that's the main problem - all "Blind Side's" other sins... the unoriginal structure, the formula "big" scenes, the treacly sentiment and the overall "feel-good-movie-matic" aura of the whole enterprise - might be forgivable if it weren't also such a smug, self-satisfied piece of white-guilt-reassurance. Oher is a specter in his own story: A one-dimensional "big lug with a heart" caricature who's only function is helping his benefactor's feel better about themselves. The plot is about how Oher escaped the dead-end of the ghetto with help from these people, but the STORY is about how encountering Michael and his world has made his adoptive mother a more enlightened, socially-aware human being. Fuck that shit.
And that's not even taking into account all the out-of-nowhere "the HELL!?" scenes. At one point, Oher gets to tear a bunch of his old-neighborhood crack dealers apart with his bare hands even though they've all got guns. No, really, and it's cut like something out of a Jason Statham movie. Later on, Bullock goes all Erin Brokovich on the same dealers, apparently able to cow them with sheer force of word. Please. The film also manages to sidestep the main note of moral-gray from the real events - there was some eyebrow-raising about Oher's adopted family, and tutor, and others involved in his redemption being financially-connected to the college he ended up signing with, do the math - by the old standby of placing the only dialogue questioning it into the mouths of a "mean" character. Earlier on, one of Bullock's "bitchy" friends asks her "is this some kind of white guilt thing?," which is meant to make curmudgeon's like me feel bad about mentioning the fact that it kinda IS.
It's a piece of shit, and the idea that it has any kind "momentum" right now is incredibly disturbing.