Q. Barsam and Monahan write about the importance of viewer expectations (13-14). We get these expectations from our experience even before we watch a film, and the film also creates new expectations. What are some of the most important ways in which viewer expectations shape our experience of The Blind Side?
A: Being a semi-biographical sports drama film, this kind of films are always expected to be inspiring and encouraging, showing how the characters make stands against their unfortunate living conditions. Usually these kinds of films focus on how the characters overcome disadvantages, how they make their own way out from misery by themselves. But in the film The Blind Side, I was surprised when I realized that instead of portraying our main character Michael Oher, this film is actually made to emphasis on Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother. Although Michael Oher’s life story was presented to us, but Leigh Anne’s role in Michael’s life is truly the main line for this film. Instead of seeing Michael’s hard work towards success, I saw more of Leigh Anne and her family’s support.
Not being racist here, but from past experiences, when I hear about films of real life stories, especially for non-Caucasians, I have this pre-structured idea that the main characters must go through a lot of trouble, they try to avoid the road of degeneration and crime, but failed because of specific reasons, and there comes a turning point when they realized something more