Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Movie Review: "Blind Side" vs "Precious"

My previous commentary that was associated with the movie "The Blind Side" was taken a bit out of context.  At that time I had not seen the movie and thus I was only responding to the article of a person who did see the movie.  He made the case that the movie was focused upon "White Paternalism".  Thus I showcased the real world example of "White Paternalism" in Memphis which seemed far more in line with this particular author's own ideological and political leanings.

Today I can speak more authoritatively about the movie "The Blind Side" because I have indeed watched the film.

There is no need for me to do a movie review about the film.  There are hundreds of them to choose from.

Instead there is more value in my choice to detail the commonality between both of these films.  In my view the two films have one thing in common:  "The failure of the adults who are the birth parents of the main character in the film to execute upon their obligations for the proper rearing and development of the child characters in question."

This analysis is borne out by the struggles of both Clareece "Precious" Jones and Michael Oher to overcome the difficulties of the roadblocks in the case of the former and the abandonment in the case of the latter of their interactions with their parental managers.

Thus far there has been differing reactions from these two films.  The "defenders of Blackness" have largely panned "Precious".  One film critic said that it was akin to "Birth Of A Nation".  Their argument is that it shows Black people at their worse - dependent, dysfunctional and largely responsible for their own downtrodden fate.  These critics miss the symbolic messages that are contained within the movie, some of which step on the toes of their ideological and policy preferences in the real world. 

"The Blind Spot" has enjoyed a more positive reception.  Instead of bathing in the dysfunction and narcissism of the parents as an oppressor it focused upon the opening of opportunity provided to the main character by the change in environment.  Such an emphasis about how the penned up resources readily available to White people being opened to Blacks is favorable to their cause in the same way that the claim that Mary Jones (the mother played by Mo'Nique) was the oppressor in "Precious". 


Another distinction in the two films was the benefactor that most helped the main character.  In "Precious" various government agencies served this role - "The social workers", "Alternative school" and its teachers.  In "The Blind Side" the key protagonist benefactor was Leigh Anne Tuohy (the character played by Sandra Bullock.  Instead of being driven per government agency - it was her Christian ethic of helping those who are without that drove Tuohy to reach out beyond her own circle of comfort to offer opportunity to Oher.  His football skills of which were of use to the Christian school that we went to didn't hurt either.

Both movies were powerful lessons of how the power of resolve can allow an individual to overcome life's obstacles . 

1 comment:

Samuel Wright said...

Congrats to Sandra Bullock on all the Golden Globes (including one for Blind Side) - she's had a fabulous year