The inspirational sports movie The Blind Side is rather short on sports and long on inspiration, or at least moments that are meant to be inspiring (it’s the kind of movie in which characters start talking about “doing the right thing” 10 minutes in). It tells the true story of Michael Oher (Aaron), a poor black Memphis teenager who was taken in by a wealthy white family led by headstrong interior designer Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock). Michael was thus able to attend a fancy private school, become a high-school football star, get an athletic scholarship for college and, earlier this year, get drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.
What Michael never gets in the movie, though, is an inner life, and Aaron plays him as so introverted and shy that we never get a sense of who he is as a person, or how he feels about the huge changes in his life. The movie is really about Leigh Anne, not Michael, and Bullock dives into the role of the big-haired, take-no-prisoners Southern woman. Michael doesn’t even start playing football until 45 minutes in, and nearly all of the adversity he overcomes occurs before the opening credits. From there, it’s two-plus hours of everything going well thanks to the saintly white lady; some true stories, however pleasant, just don’t make for interesting movies.