Keeping with the dramatic film "based on real events" theme, this week is "The Blind Side." This was one of the earlier films I watched that steered me into wanting to work in the film/media industry. It wasn't the production or overall story that made an impression; it was the feeling I got during and after the film; it was one of the first films that made such a strong emotional feeling in me. It also doesn't hurt that the acting was excellent; Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress that year for her role in the film.
A more recent revelation with a film's feeling, tone or mood can be directly correlated to the director. John Lee Hancock helms "The Blind Side," but also some other American films I enjoy, such as "The Rookie," "Saving Mr. Banks," "The Founder," and "The Highwaymen." It is easy to feel and interpret the characters John directs in his films. One thing that is quite evident in this work is change. In the early 2000s, "The Rookie" and "The Blind Side" came out; both are feel-good dramas with happy endings, followed by "Saving Mr. Banks." As the years went forward, Hancock's film genre began to change, with "The Founder" and, later on, "The Highwaymen," these films becoming slightly less happy endings and feel-good dramas. The feeling, tone and mood are changing, especially with the most recent "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," pushing Hancock's work into the Horror/Thriller genre. The one consistent aspect I've noticed is that even with these different and changing genres, the character's feelings and emotions are transported into me. A tool used in a powerful way to help achieve this is music; the sound in these films is so unsubtly strong and amplifies your feelings during the movie.
Although this film, "The Blind Side," doesn't seem unpredictable, perhaps one would argue you could guess how the film would eventually unfold. And even though the film has a Disney family effect, one thing is undeniable: the intense, emotional feeling it conveys to its audience. Especially around the holidays, it can be nice to enjoy a film, not for its mystery, action or drama. But for the emotional connection it gives to the viewer. Many similar films have tried to reach the success "The Blind Side" received but fall short simply because those other films don't connect strongly enough with the viewer.
I'm looking forward to watching more films over the holidays that convey more feelings through mood and tone.