Saturday, February 13, 2010
“Well, all right then.”
“Well, all right then,” as Sandra Bullock’s Leigh Ann Tuohy says. I saw a number of animated kids’ movies in 2009. I also saw Avatar. Now I’ve seen The Blind Side, and I no more accept any scene in that movie as reality than I accept any scene in Up or Avatar as anything but fantasy.
The Blind Side might as well have been an animated kids’ movie. Each scene (with perhaps the exception of the scene in which Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) meets Michael’s downtrodden, crack-addicted mother) looks and sounds absolutely phony.
Yes, I know that the events themselves occurred, but director John Lee Hancock makes no effort to make me believe the events involved real people or occurred in a place that really exists.
Each scene is like a fantasy. The rooms in the house look fake and unlived-in. The wrecked truck looks fake. Everyone in the family is happy. Everyone is so accepting of Michael. The teenage daughter (Lily Collins) is never moody, always upbeat. The tutor Miss Sue (Kathy Bates) is so bubbly with enthusiasm and good spirit. The little boy, S.J., (Jae Head) looks like a computer-animated character in a Disney-Pixar film. Indeed, the college talent scouts look and act like they are animated.
Well, perhaps Leigh Ann Tuohy (Bullock) and her Ol’ Miss grad hubbie Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) look like convincingly real, rich Republicans from the South. (The shot in which Sean lounges on the bed, dressed in khakis, barefoot, made me throw up a little in my mouth.) But everything else from the crisp new clothing that ALL the students at the high school wear to the way the inner city thugs talk is false.
“Well, all right then,” as Leigh Ann would say. I’ve had my say, and now I’ve seen all ten Oscar nominees for Best Picture, and now I’m convinced of how ludicrous it is to scrape the bottom of the barrel to round up ten nominees, and I now know why I will puke if Sandra Bullock wins the Oscar for Best Actress.
From her very first appearance Bullock gives a serviceable performance without any sort of emotion. Her movements are obviously choreographed, her fierce demeanor is a superficial fabrication, and I never felt for a moment that she was a real person with feelings. Note the image below. It is a Hallmark card pose that might as well have been rendered in brightly colored hand-drawn animation with a fluffy white puppy thrown in to balance out the composition.