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Monday, August 02, 2010

Even a Blind Squirrel In Hollywood...

I just saw The Blind Side – a very good, heartwarming movie that portrays Christians and Republicans in an honest, positive light.

This is rare for Hollywood. Christians and Republicans are such an oddity in Tinsel Town that movie-makers simply don't know how to portray them. They are all too often falsely portrayed with negativity that makes hating what they stand for much easier to do.

Sandra Bullock was even hesitant to play the part of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a devout Christian, a Republican, and football fanatic. In an interview for the Guardian, Bullock said "...I know nothing about Christianity, nothing about football, and I'm not a Republican. But John Lee Hancock [the director] had always told me this is a mother-son story that just happened to involve people that you might normally pass judgment on. I go, 'Hmmm . . . white, Southern, Christian, Republican . . . not the kind of people I feel comfortable around, because they're usually not appreciative of me, or the lifestyle I supposedly lead. So I automatically assume that they'll reject me because of all that. But this family was the exact opposite."

Hey Sandra, maybe there are a lot of Southern, Christian, Republicans that are the exact opposite of your predisposed judgement.

Initially, Bullock wasn't interested in doing the movie because she didn't know how to play Tuohy. According to Bullock, "The director said, after about eight months, 'Why don't you go and see Leigh Anne and see what I'm talking about? It'll explain her.' I met her and was really blown away by the energy she had. I stopped thinking about it like an actor just seeing a part, and the story is what finally got me."

Hmmm, it appears that Sandra's perception of the Touhys was wrong until she met them. This is my general complaint with Hollywood movie-makers. They don't know Christians and Republicans, so they don't know how to portray them. Moreover, they don't feel comfortable around them. If Sandra's comments are any indication, perhaps movie-makers fear being judged in the same manner that they most often judge Christians and Republicans.

But, Sandra Bullock stepped out of her comfort zone to meet and get to know a Christian Republican family. Arguable, she actually practiced the type of diversity awareness that liberals are quick to preach – while demagoging Christians and Republicans. For effectively portraying someone so opposite of herself, Sandra Bullock earned her Oscar.

For being willing to put her predisposition against Christian Republicans aside and deliver an honest performance, she's earned my kudos.

The movie is a great story about compassion and love for fellow man and it's even better that it comes from real life. I was impressed that Hollywood resisted the temptation to throw in unnecessary foul language and implicit sex scenes that it so often does to boost box office sales. Hollywood should take note that the unexpected success at the box office might be for the simple fact that a good heartwarming story trumps adolescent language and cheap sex.

Still, there was one scene that director Hancock could not resist. It was unnecessary for it didn't add to the story. It was senseless and factually flawed. And it was revealing. In a movie about compassionate Christian Republicans, Hancock couldn't resist taking a shot at President Bush.

The scene was a Tennessee state license bureau where Bullock's character tries to get a driver's license for then 17 year-old Micheal Oher. After waiting an hour with little apparent movement in the line, she confronts the government employee behind the counter about the lack of service. She notes that employees are chatting with each other and taking coffee breaks instead of helping customers and asks "whose in charge here?" The employee points to a photo of President Bush on the office wall. [Insert silly liberals laughing here.]

Okay, maybe this scene was aimed squarely at the liberals in the audience because surely they would have a problem sitting through two hours of feel-good mush perpetuated by compassionate conservatives. They needed a familiar bone to tickle their perception of reality. Far be it for me to sour the bone with facts and logic.

According to the time line within this movie, the scene took place about two month's before Micheal Oher's 18th birthday – around March of 2004. President Bush's popularity was still high then. He won Tennessee handily in both 2000 and 2004. This scene seems born of the liberal narrative to blame Bush for the economy and for all that President Obama touches – which was more prominent during the filming of the movie than the date when the event was to occur.

Granted, post Katrina, it became popular for media and liberals everywhere to blame President Bush for all that ails us. But, Katrina hit the south in 2005.

Still, blaming Bush for the fact that government employees in a state-run office fail to do their jobs makes no sense. This was a Tennessee state office. The federal government has NO jurisdiction over the administration of this state-run office. The buck stops not at the White House, but at the governor's mansion.

Curiously, this scene was born of the same logically and factually flawed narrative that fueled the effort to blame Bush for the slow response to the disaster that followed Katrina in New Orleans. In truth, the slow response was a direct result of a mayor who failed to execute a disaster recovery plan and a governor who failed to seek federal assistance in a timely manner. There was simply nothing that President Bush could do for New Orleans until the governor of Louisiana asked for it. The buck for failure to respond to Katrina stopped in Baton Rouge. But, I digress...

The Blind Side is worth a viewing. It is a rare movie that faithfully and honestly portrays real people – real Christians and real Republicans. It's a story of compassion, devotion, and earning success through hard work. Hollywood deserves credit for finally getting it right, even if the movie is momentarily blinded by a cheap political shot at President Bush.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding post, G-Man. Those were my observations exactly. One other scene was probably not necessary, but was another nod to liberal biases. When the big football player needs a tutor, the Kathy Bates character says "There's something you should know. I'm Democrat!" The message: success really depends on an intelligent, correct thinking liberal. Just can't do without 'em.

8/03/2010 12:25 PM  
Blogger G-Man said...

Good point Anonymous, one that I missed.

I saw the Bates character more as the embodiment of a typical liberal Democrat. Before proclaiming her political preference, she acknowledged that she had applied for a position at the Christian high school, but could not come to terms with the religious influence upon the school's expectations of her. The school was "too Christian" for her. Not that all Democrats have a problem with living like a Christian, but those who do are more likely to align themselves with the Democrat Party.

Even when she did announced that she was a Democrat, she appeared to do so with the expectation that these Republicans would discriminate against her for her political views. Don't a lot of die-hard Democrats assume that Republicans hate Democrats the way Viking Fans hate the Packers – or the way Hollywood Democrats often seem to hate Republicans?

For me, this was a particularly good scene. The Democrat was surprised that the Republican would hire her and the Republican brushed it off as another silly misconception.

Later in the movie, it was also the Bate's character – the Democrat – who sought to influence Michael Oher's college decision with tall, scary, fabricated stories of body parts under the Tennessee football field. Tall, scary, fabrications define the typical Democrat political campaign.

Finally, in the end, Miss Sue is excited about her new apartment near the Ole Miss campus – presumably paid for by the successful, wealthy, Republican. Where would Democrats be if not benefiting from the wealth created by the rich?

8/03/2010 6:21 PM  

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