Review of *The Blind Side* (film)

I first heard about this story on Econtalk where Michael Lewis discussed his great fortune discovering this incredible story. I’ll say: homeless illiterate black kid taken in by rich white Christians and winds up a 1st round NFL draft pick. You can’t make this stuff up.

This movie is also half of the subject of the best film review I’ve ever read, by A.O. Scott. I came across it two years ago and, quite honestly, I think about it all the time.

Some choice quotes:

AN African-American teenager, overweight and undereducated, a survivor of poverty and abuse, is rescued by the benevolent intervention of strangers. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” which has attracted fervent praise, as well as some controversy, since its debut in limited release two weeks ago.

The same sentence could sum up “The Blind Side,” based on a nonfiction book by Michael Lewis, which opened nationally on Friday.

And here’s the upshot:

Both movies tell stories that suggest a way out of poverty, brutality and domestic calamity for certain lucky individuals while saying very little about how those conditions might be changed…

Both locate the problems facing their main characters in the failure of families — of mothers in particular — and find solutions in better families, substitute mothers (Ms. Rain and Leigh Anne), whose selflessness and loyalty exorcise the biological monsters who have been left behind.

I have to first admit that I’m a sucker for feel-good, happy ending movies and, unlike Scott, I enjoyed *The Blind Side* more than *Precious*. The latter was just a bit too real for me, even if it probably ‘taught’ me more about life.

I’m afraid that Scott’s ideas have infected me so completely that I’m barely able to muster an original thought of my own. So I’ll give up.

Read his review.

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