Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sandra Bullock, in The Blind Side
approximately 54 minutes and 6 seconds
43.9% of the film







The film


The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.


You can find my short review of the film just by clicking HERE.

An easy to watch TV-movie turned gold by overzealous Christian audience and die hard Sandy fans. But in the end: what the hell is it with the Best Picture nom?! Nothing special, nothing new.









Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy


In almost every Oscar race there’s a Melissa Leo or a Laura Linney for The Savages showing up at the last minute and managing to deservedly catch an Oscar nomination. This year, there wasn’t much of a serious crowd fighting for a nomination. So Sandra got her hands on the popularity slot; she is much appreciated by her peers and her movie (which came from nowhere) took by surprise the December box office. In the end, Oscar is also about the money.


In this true story, Sandra plays Leigh Anne, the ex Southern belle, devoted Christian, interior decorator, stubborn wife and mother who becomes the foster parent of an almost illiterate black teenager. Why? Because that’s how Leign Anne felt like it and whatever she wants, she’s gonna get it. And the whole character is mostly based on this characteristic: the well intentioned woman trying to bring good (by force) into a young man’s life.

I’ve seen interviews with Sandra talking about the part. Despite what you see on screen, she has said many times how uncomfortable the character felt for her and the effort in trying to really project (and understand) the actions and drive force Leigh Anne has. If what she says is true, then I have to give credit to Sandra: she made it look so easy, natural, she seemed comfortable in this character and it allowed her to crack a joke once in a while and give us the only memorable moments of this film.



The very bad parts of the screenplay seemed to avoid Sandra, or she just refused to go for the cliché lines or too cheesy situations. There are a lot of roll-your-eyes moments even in her scenes, but Sandra knows her craft so well that she spins it around, either with a sad look or terrific comedy timing, depending on what the scene can handle. The supporting actors cannot fight the mediocrity of the screenplay, but Sandra knows best and when words don’t help, charisma itself and conviction will do it.

Her presence on screen is always nice and her way of talking down to people creates some funny situations and pleasant scenes: roughly explaining Michael what football is all about, adequately manipulating her husband, proving to Michael’s coach that she knows best… All these are good scenes in which Sandra does her forever routine: put a smile on my face.

I believed the Southern accent and I actually imagined she felt very comfortable in the shoes of the character (the hair, the clothes, all looked natural on her); but it’s more than looking pretty! Sandra also delivers plenty of scenes in which we see the softer side of Leigh Ann, and not just the shield of the tough Southern woman. She is very protective, and doesn’t run away from the obvious: if you have the possibility to do good, why not just do it?!


This movie would be nothing without Sandra. SHE makes it believable, easy to watch and gives us the only moments of joy throughout the movie! And I always felt like she understands the character and I admire how easy she makes it look! But is this Best Actress material? Is the role consistent enough? Hasn’t Sandra been doing this work for quite some time now? I would not call this a bad performance! No way! But it doesn’t have the difficulty level to put in competition with Gaby or Carey or Meryl. I’ve enjoyed the role 200% more than the movie itself… ***I was just about to give Sandra a 2, but what the hell: I LIKED her performance. It’s a , because what she does is done very well. ***


Editor note: June 12th, before posting final conclusions: I am editing this post and changing the rating to a . It's the first time I'm doing such, and I believe a 2 is more representative of my feelings towards the performance.

5 comments:

joe burns said...

This gets about half a star from me. I think she was okay, but the script damaged her performance too much.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

You really did like it. The thing is prior to 09 I liked Bullock, even in trash but I just couldn't latch on here. The accent didn't convince me, and Kathy Bates' phoned in cameo ends up being my favourite performance, followed by McGraw, then Bullock.

Nigel said...

The very bad parts of the screenplay seemed to avoid Sandra, or she just refused to go for the cliché lines or too cheesy situations. There are a lot of roll-your-eyes moments even in her scenes, but Sandra knows her craft so well that she spins it around, either with a sad look or terrific comedy timing, depending on what the scene can handle.

----You (as in your excerpt)

Anyway, thank you for bringing that up. It's exactly where I'm coming from. She saved this movie. You all sat there glued to the screen because of her.....Some of you may have been intolerate of her performance but she sure had enough charisma to keep your attention---whether in loath, or any other sentiment.

Also, that excerpt I just quoted could very well be one of the main reasons why she's getting votes. Perhaps voters are sifting through that mess of a movie, figuring out just how she made it work..(just as they did when they nominated Downey Jr for "Tropic Thunder"---everything about that film was terrible, but He made it work somehow...and the Academy saw that)

Jude said...

I've only watched the first ten or so minutes online, and she was the (very brief) ray of hope for the movie. The rest made me so naseuous I had to stop it. I'll probably finish it today.

Anonymous said...

How r u? your website is cool
you should watch at that funny emo video:
http://tinyurl.com/a5sfeo