The Blind Side

The Blind Side depicts one of those true stories about which people say “if this were made into a movie, nobody would believe it.” Inner city orphan Michael Oher was taken off the streets by a rich Memphis couple and introduced to academics and football, showing such talent at the latter that he was heavily recruited by the country’s top colleges. This year he was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens and has started every game at tackle.

You’d think this is the sort of thing that simply requires a director to point the camera at the actors, let them tell the story and stay out of the way. But that underestimates what a nice job writer/director John Lee Hancock has done (he’s developed a knack for spinning fine films out of real life sports fairy tales, having previously directed Dennis Quaid in The Rookie).

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The Proposal

proposalHollywood must churn out at least a dozen movies like The Proposal every year, cobbled together Frankenstein-style from the parts of countless older films. Romantic comedies (most of them, anyway) are as predictable and formulaic as horror films, with saucy grandmas sitting in for horny teens and fewer axe murders.

The Proposal feels particularly pre-packaged… it borrows its basic premise (couple falls in love while pretending to be engaged for immigration purposes) from Green Card, its lonely-woman-finds-a-family theme from While You Were Sleeping (complete with a nearly identical altar confession by Bullock) and its prickly boss/loyal employee dynamic from yet another Bullock film, Two Weeks Notice.

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