WaPo's Paul Farhi Dismisses 'Blind Side' As Trite Movie with 'Magic Negro'
Paul Farhi sure didn't when he panned Oscar-nominated movie "The Blind Side" during a special "Hardball on Hollywood" segment with Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff and host Chris Matthews on the February 2 program.
The Washington Post media critic slammed the Best Picture-nominated drama -- based on a true story -- as just another movie in which the white characters' guilt is assauged by helping a black guy (video embedded at right; an MP3 audio clip is available here):
PAUL FARHI, Washington Post: The problem is that the black character is basically a prop to make the white people feel better about themselves, and that's been the major criticism. It's also the "magic negro," in other words, the idea that a black character will emerge to provide wisdom for the white people involved in the movie.
FARHI: That character goes back a long time in movie history. This is not something new. "The Green Mile" came out ten years ago, it was the same kind of portrayal.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, "Hardball" host: Well, you know what, when you see the movie, you have your own reaction. I accept all those criticisms, and in fact, sociologically, Paul, I agree with you. But I like the movie a lot.
It didn't occur to Farhi or Matthews, apparently, that the real-life couple portrayed in the movie -- Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy -- are practicing Christians and that their adoption of Michael Oher was motivated, at least in part, by their religious faith.
For his part, Matthews said he agreed with Farhi, but that he enjoyed the movie nonetheless.