I read The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (amazon) a while ago, and I remember thinking that when it was made into a movie, they would have two opportunities to mess it up. The first would be finding the right person to play Michael Oher. The second would be finding the right person to play Leigh Anne Tuohy. When I heard they’d cast Sandra Bullock I pretty much gave up hope of it being anything but a disaster.
However, award buzz for Bullock began almost immediately after the movie (imdb | rotten tomatoes) came out and I wondered if she’d prove me wrong. We finally watched it yesterday. And she did. She played it pretty much as I expected her to be played. Likewise, the actor who portrayed Michael Oher (even if he was more baby-faced than Oher) played it pretty much as I’d expected.
Overall the whole thing had more of a predictable, feel-good pattern to it, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s the kind of thing that keeps a movie from being particularly memorable. If you’ve read Lewis’ books before you might have expected a colder, more analytical view of the events, but Lewis does admit in his book that he knows the Tuohy family, and I suspect that affected how he told the story. It’s an entertaining enough little slice of a day, just don’t expect any surprises.