Fellow Movie Lovers
It was a coincidence that I saw two movies revolving around nonfictional subjects. Both movies should be seen. Both share differences and similarities.
THE BLIND SIDE
My entire life has been surrounded by men and women who are addicted to anyone or anything that moves competitively: football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, roller skating, beach volleyball, ice hockey, floor hockey, Indy 500. You get the picture. I prefer the movie versions of these spectacles; they are shorter and sans commercial breaks!
Here Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality) stars as Leigh Anne Touhy, the wealthy crusader who champions the cause of Michael (Big Mike) Oher, sensitively depicted by Quinton Aaron. This is Bullock’s finest performance in years; she is back on the radar screen as a performer to watch.
Michael Oher, at six feet eight inches and three hundred and seventy-two pounds, was homeless and living on the streets of Memphis, Tennessee when he was rescued by Leigh Anne Touhy; she transforms him into a giant in the world of football. He was the first round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens (intriguing that so many teams have sobriquets of predatory animals: bears, lions, tigers, bulls, diamondbacks) in 2009. He is an offensive tackle, protecting the blind side of the quarterback.
This is a feel-good movie, a love story and easy to watch. Particularly entertaining were the coaches playing themselves: Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, and Phil Fulmer. But the movie soared when Jay Head (playing S.J. Touhy, the precocious and youngest member of the family) negotiates his perks with each coach; he is gifted and his timing prodigious.
In conclusion, I feel all films relating to athletics should be reviewed by sport reporters; those educated in the “picks” and “plays” of the game. So many of these intricacies are lost on us neophytes. In gratitude to Leigh Anne Touhy (and my husband) I grasp “The Blind Side” and recommend that this is a movie worth SEEING!
A fascinating account of Sandra Laing, born in the 1950’s in South Africa to Afrikaners. They are white, Sandra is black. Her troubles commence when she was enrolled at ten in a private Christian school; during apartheid one was classified according to race or color. Her parents battled the courts to have her classified as white; this classification earns devastation and pain to all parties.
Lacking current technology her heritage was never tested; she chose to live in a black world, a decision rejected by her parents.
Beautifully acted by the dimpled Sophie Okonedo, as Sandra: Sam Neill, as her dominating and oftentimes cruel father: Alice Krige, as her devoted but weak mother.
I was troubled and found hard to accept the naïveté or color blindness of Sandra’s parents. Afrikaners were of Dutch, German or French ancestry who ventured to Africa with the Dutch East India Company in the seventeenth century; somehow in all those centuries a dash of color invaded the gene pool. Cause for celebration not castigation. In fairness it is challenging to imagine a world where “color” completely defines the quality of one’s existence. Reminiscent of pre-Civil War days in this country.
William Kentridge, the South African artist, has dedicated his life and talents to keeping the world aware of the egregious crimes perpetrated by apartheid. “Skin” adds another dose of consciousness to this dead—but always remembered—travesty.
FOUR STARS! (Out of a possible 5)