Skip to main content

The Blind Side Will Open Your Eyes

The Blind Side, without being too didactic (at least not beat-you-over-the-head-level-sermonizing) about it, is a cinematic manifesto expounding the Golden Rule. It inspires non-cynical viewers (and even cynics like me, willing to suspend their cynicism for one hour and forty-five minutes) for all the right - if only mildly trite - reasons. Universal reasons like Good overcoming Evil. Compassion conquering Redneck Racism. Sacrificial, beyond-the-call-of-duty, Hospitality, trumping pampered self-interest and indifference to a pulp, even as it undermines the movie's matriarch's (played Oscar-marvellously by Sandra Bullock) standing in high-falutin', Southern high society.

The Blind Side is about a wealthy, entrepreneurial, and loving family that opens it home, er, mansion, to an abandoned, neglected, near-mute young man, Michael. Michael's near-mute because of his sickening-to-consider, family losses: No Mom, no Dad, no nothing. Michael is big and athletic, with "protective instincts," which is about all he's got going for him. Turns out, along with his big heart, that's all he'll need. And a tutor. And a football coach willing to let (or maybe he didn't have a choice) Michael take some unsolicited, on-the-field and in-your-face "coaching" from his "Mom," Sandra Bullock.

Feel-good cliches gallore? But of course. Am I complaining? No. Because The Blind Side will open your eyes. It will.

Do the bad guys on the football field and their foul-mouthed denim-vest clad Dads in the high school stands get their collective, beer-gutted and bigoted asses smacked without the good guys having to throw a single punch? Hmmm. Could be. Wouldn't be a family friendly, heartwarming football flick without it, would it? Will you cry? You just might!

Remember Rudy? Remember the Titans?

Hell yes I do, and I think The Blind Side, a decade out, will be remembered fondly alongside them. And the story of Michael ("Big Mike") - homeless at seventeen and in the NFL at twenty-two - is a true story too, as well as a courageous young man's dream come true.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Brief introduction to the Novels of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

The majority of the material for this post is taken from Contemporary Novelists, 3rd Ed., Edited by James Vinson, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1982

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987)


There's only eight books of K.A. Abbas cataloged in LibraryThing (five or six different works).  He's virtually forgotten in the United States, though still revered in Indian literary circles.

On highbrow literary critics in India, Abbas said they "have sometimes sneeringly labelled my novels and short stories as 'mere journalese'. The fact that most of them are inspired by aspects of the contemporary historical reality, as sometimes chronicled in the press, is sufficient to put them beyond the pale of literary creation.

"I have no quarrel with the critics. Maybe I am an unredeemed journalist and reporter, masquerading as a writer of fiction. But I have always believed that while the inner life of man undoubtedly is, and should be, the primary concern of literature, thi…

Guest Post: Farewell to Manzanar reviewed by Mac McCaskill

"Mountain now loosens rivulets of tears.
Washed stones, forgotten clearing."
 —Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston




When my father was a boy, he learned that he’d been adopted by the man whom he’d thought was his father. Digging through a dusty trunk in his attic, he found legal documents that gave him the name he wore and the father he knew, but also uncovering an origin that had been hidden from him.

His mother was, by all accounts, a volatile woman — her siblings called her “the hornet” because her sting was quick and painful. She was a hard woman, and reticent to either acknowledge or divulge anything about his biological father. Over the years, he eventually learned from other relatives that she met Mr. Black — it was his name, but also a metaphor for much more — in a late 1920’s dance hall. He left her pregnant, taking whatever money he could get his hands hand on when he went.

Late in his life, after his mother died, my dad started quizzing other relatives for information about Mr…

Guest Post: Play It As It Lays reviewed by Joseph Brinson

You know, I began a try at this review writing about Iago in Othello and the nature of evil.

And about ennui and apathy.

And that the answer is: nothing.

And how I felt deep empathy for Maria.

And then I deleted it all.

This is my review: This novel depressed the fuck out of me.

That, and giving it four stars, should sum it up.






















Joseph Brinson (a.k.a., "Quixada"), a poet and a longtime online pal, made me fucking howl when I first read his deadpanned piece on Play It As It Lays years and years ago.  Yes, it is brief — yet is playfully, skillfully thorough. His homage still slays me today.