The Blind Side
Main cast: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Kathy |Bates, Jae Head, Lily Collins
Director John Lee Hancock
If you require a primer on the white liberal mentality in general and their perception of blacks in particular this is your film,
“The Blind Side” ploughs the same rescuing-the-black-underclass furrow as “Precious” . But where “Precious” depicts the central character in the context of her day-to-day ghetto life and allows her to have some distinctly rough and unappealing edges, her equivalent in “The Blind Side” is a paragon, albeit one so bloodless as to be next to transparent. , Both films are fairy stories: “Precious“ is one by the Brothers Grimm, “The Blind Side” a white liberal version of “And they all lived happily ever after“.
So off we go. Once upon a time there was a rich white family consisting of Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw), a son of about eight known as SJ (Jae Head) and a teenage daughter who decide to take in a homeless black adolescent named Michael Oyers (Quinton Aaron) despite being (shock, horror!) Republicans, Christians and Southerners.
As befits a fairy story, Michael is a truly fabulous creature. At the beginning of the film he is sixteen or seventeen. We are told that his mother is a hopeless crack addict who has borne “ twelve children… or maybe more” to many of whom she cannot put a father (when the mother fleetingly appears she is the healthiest looking long term crack user and high-volume producer of offspring you ever did see.)
Michael’s childhood has supposedly been a mixture of physical, material and emotional insecurity in a classic black ghetto – a violent, drug infested world – , glimpses of which were are shown as he occasionally revisits the projects where he grew up. At the beginning of the film we are told that his education has been next to non-existent and his IQ has tested as a lowly 80. . However, Michael has two things going for him: he is very large and very athletic. This gets him into a decent private school where he encounters the Tuohys, whose children attend the school, and eventually to university and a professional American football career.
Despite his upbringing Michael is conscientiously non-violent, won’t look at a drug, finds alcohol distasteful and, Heaven forefend, shows no apparent sexual interest in girls, despite being a teenager with presumably raging hormones. Even more amazing he has perfect manners. After his first night at the Tuohys, he immaculately folds the bedclothes he has been given before leaving the house. A little later there is an unintentionally hilarious scene when the family celebrates Thanksgiving. While the Tuohys take their plates and sit around the television, Michael, bless his ghetto etiquette educated heart, takes his plate to eat from the dining table. Leigh Anne sees this and the Tuohys are immediately shepherded to the dining table to follow the superior manners of their remarkable guest.
The family are equally unbelievable in their reception of Michael. Leigh Anne is a veritable modern Mrs Jellaby, the terminally disagreeable character in Dickens’ Bleak House who is deeply concerned with the benighted natives of Africa and negligent of her own children. She does not go to Africa for her benighted native, she finds him on her doorstep, the boy being invited into the house in the most casual way when she encounters him walking along a road, never having previously spoken to the boy . From that wildly implausible start, Michael becomes a permanent fixture in the home without any meaningful discussion amongst the family as to whether he should do so. Not only does no word of protest about this gross intrusion into their lives fall from the lips of the husband or children, the family immediately re-orients their lives to make Michael the focus of their family and fall over themselves to be nice to him – the son SJ does this in an extravagantly precocious manner which would incline one to forgive Herod if the wretched child had been included in the slaughter of the first-born. Most wondrously, the children show no resentment or jealously no matter how extravagantly their parents pander to Michael and, boy, do they pander.
Michael is given his own newly furnished room, fed and clothed, provided with a private tutor (Kathy Bates) to help him get the grades he needs to take up a football scholarship, is taught to drive and on his birthday receives as a present from the family a brand-new sports-utility vehicle.
When Michael celebrates his new car by taking the Tuohys’ son for a ride he crashes due to his wilful inattention and injures SJ. Leigh Anne far from being in a rage about the injury to her only son is all concern for Michael’s feelings and rushes to assure him it wasn’t his fault. The rest of the family don’t refer to the accident. The final cherry on the let’s-be-nice-to-Michael-at-any-cost-cake is the Tuoys offering to be Michael’s guardian, something which is met with universal hyperbolic family joy.
This eerily unreal air of ecstatic jubilation at Michael’s very existence exuded by the Touhys seeps over into the parade of university reps who come to try to persuade Michael to attend their university.
The white liberal guilt trip rises to a crescendo when Michael is interviewed by a public official about why he wants to go to a certain university. The official is a black woman who is concerned that ol’ whitey is up to his evil ways by trying to emotionally capture black boys with athletic talent who they can then direct to their own satisfaction. . She suggests to Michael that the only reason the Tuohys have done all that they have done for him is because they wish to direct his athletic prowess to their old university. Notwithstanding the preternatural generosity shown him, Michael immediately becomes outraged at this shocking thought and turns on Leigh Anne before going missing. Cue for Leigh Anne agonising about whether she and her family have been trying to make choices for him, She frantically seeks Michael out and, wait for it, apologises for even suggesting that he might want to go to a university for which she had affection.
But the liberal desire to wallow in guilt is a form of masochism, and like all masochists they wish to control the pain. They are happy to humiliate themselves only on their terms, This means Apart from a few snatches of ghetto life “The Blind Side” takes place in a remarkably white world of white home, white school, white tutor, white football coach. If there is an abuse of Michael it is his almost complete removal from people of his own race. What the Tuohys want is a Michael made in their image. .
There are three important sub-plots. The first concerns anyone Leigh Anne knows or meets who makes any suggestion which can be interpreted as racist, a word which in the strange world liberals have foisted upon us can mean virtually any expression of opinion which is other than wildly enthusiastic about the joy of diversity. Leigh Anne’s lunching club female friends who have the temerity to suggest that she might be biting off more than she can chew or that this is just her latest worthy cause, are first reprimanded then cast into the outer darkness after one of them is rash enough to suggest there might be just a hint of danger in having a large black male adolescent in their house when they have an attractive teenage daughter. This, of course, panders to another primary white liberal trait, an intense desire to play the role of the morally superior being.;
The second involves Michael’s education. As already mentioned, his IQ is a “tested 80“ , a surprising intrusion of realism into the film because the average IQ of American blacks is 85 . However, that is where the realism ends about Michael’s intellectual ability because he then proceeds with the help of a special tutor to gain the necessary grades for university entrance.
The film does not actually say so, but the clear implication is that those pesky old IQ tests which are always showing blacks with a substantially lower average IQ than whites or Far East Asians such as the Chinese are really just indicators of social circumstances. (Interestingly, “Precious” uses the same device with the central character making a mess of an IQ test early in the film). This is an unpersuasive argument because ,despite the vast amount of money and manpower put into schemes such as Head Start, there has never been a proven case of IQ being substantially and permanently raised by teaching. There is also the glaring fact that if it were possible to raise IQ substantially and permanently by teaching the rich would long ago have purchased the privilege for their children. They have not because no such teaching exists.
The upshot is we are left with the startling idea that someone with an IQ of 80 can handle a degree course, startling because an IQ of 80 is the point at which most psychologists working in the field of intelligence testing think that an individual begins to struggle to live an independent life in a developed economy such as the USA. Just to add to the wonder of it all, Michael, someone who supposedly has had no meaningful education until he is sixteen or thereabouts, is writing fluently about his life not long after we first meet him and before he has a personal tutor.
The third sub-plot is the absurd portrayal of Leigh Anne as a dominant woman. The white men she meets throughout the film are wet in the extreme, an amazing fact as the main white male characters are all southerners, folk not generally noted for their subservience to the gentler sex. . Leigh Anne addresses them as if they were naughty schoolboys in the manner of a dominatrix with the type of shouty all purpose “Southern” accent that is the American equivalent of the English “Mummerset“, To this abuse these Southern males merely bow their heads meekly and gaze in wonder at the marvel of the woman. The nonsense reaches its apogee when at the end of the film she is searching for the missing Michael and ventures into the ghetto from which Michael has supposedly come. Here she harangues a distinctly nasty looking gang of “rude boys“ who cringe before her threats. In the real world she would most probably have ended up dead or raped or both.
There are other problems with the film. The Tuohy family seem to live in a world of not only almost perpetual circumstantial light, but of light which is dazzling. Nothing but nothing brings gloom and doom, not even SJ’s injury. The characterisation is one-dimensional with Michael being little more than a looming physical presence who acts as a reflecting board for the white liberal mentality.
The screenplay has been written by numbers with frequent exchanges of brute sentimentality. The writers fondly imagine that they have been subtle in putting in the odd scene which clashes with the general air of undiluted worship of Michael, for example, on the boy’s first night in the Tuohys’ house Leigh Anne makes a show of wondering if he is going to steal form them or wreck the place. However, when such scenes arise, and they are very occasional, the non-pc thought is immediately squashed by a another scene which shows how ridiculous and racist is the very idea of Michael behaving badly .
The screenplay’s cringe-making quality is epitomised by the exchange when Michael is asked whether he wants the Tuohys to become his guardians: “Would you like to become part of the family, Michael?”. Michael: “I thought I already was”. There are plenty of other saccharine gems like that so those diligent enough to see the film are advised not to eat anything before viewing.
That this ridiculous piece of political correct agitprop should have not only been an Oscar contender, but landed Sandra Bullock the Oscar for best actress (no pc whining about gender specific awards when it suits the feminists note) demonstrates the grip which political correctness has on the US elite. . Unlike “Precious” which was a powerful film, this is simply feeble failing on every important criterion by which a film is judged: plot, screenplay, characterisation, and acting. If you must see it, go as a duty to see what the multicultural enemy is up to not for recreation.
Why do white liberals behave in this grotesquely patronising fashion? Simple, blacks are their clients not their friends. Liberals do not see blacks as equals or even as fully fledged human beings. They relate to them in much the same way they might view an exotic animal which has become a fashionable pet.
The problem with being a client of those with power and influence is that fashions change. In Britain forty years ago the role of liberal client was played by the white working class, now the position is filled by a growing army of ethnic minorities. The white working class lost their position by disgracing themselves in white liberal eyes through their failure to accept that they should remain as pristine proletarians jealously guarding their working class culture without any aspiration to become middle class and because of their growing hostility to the consequences of the white liberal policy of mass immigration, consequences which those who promoted the immigration ensured they avoided.
What would an interesting film involving white liberals acting as Lady Bountiful to the black underclass be like in these pc times? How about this, a white liberal family takes in an adolescent black ghetto gang member who is heavily into drugs and guns, is functionally illiterate, has no inclination to be educated and is sexually incontinent.
The white family then go on one of those “journeys” beloved of progressives, from liberal fantasists to race realists as the erstwhile gang member introduces the children to drugs, gets the teenage daughter pregnant, robs the family, beats up the parents and reduces the family home to ashes in an act of arson before being gunned down after re-joining his ghetto gang , I am not saying that would represent everyday reality, but it would be a good deal more plausible than “The Blind Side.”
Somehow I doubt whether that film will ever see the light of day.
Young Victoria – I have very belatedly seen this, but better late than never for it is the best costume drama I have seen fin years. The casting is immaculate, from Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend as Victoria and Albert (Friend is the most impressive young British actor to appear for some time) to cameos by the likes of Jim Broadbent (a most amusing William IV, albeit sadly without his renowned quarterdeck language) ) and Julian Glover (Wellington with a most impressive prosthetic nose.). Mark Strong is first rate as Sir John Conroy, the Svengali controlling Victoria’s mother. I have seen Strong in two other films in the year, Rock’N’Roller (where he played a London villain) and Body of Lies (where he played a Jordanian prince who was head of Jordanian security). He is a most impressive and versatile actor, with a fine ear for accents.
Sex and Drugs and Rock-and-Roll – Biopic of Ian Drury. This completes a trio of first rate biopics of rock stars in the past three years, the others being Control and Nowhere Boy.