Blind (2017)

  • Time: 98 min
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Director: Michael Mailer
  • Cast: Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, Viva Bianca, Dylan McDermott

Storyline:

Bestselling novelist Bill Oakland loses his wife and his sight in a vicious car crash. Five years later, socialite Suzanne Dutchman is forced to read to Bill in an intimate room three times a week as a plea bargain for being associated with her husband’s insider trading. A passionate affair ensues, forcing them both to question whether or not it’s ever too late to find true love. But when Suzanne’s husband is let out on a technicality, she is forced to choose between the man she loves and the man she built a life with.

2 reviews

  • The last time Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore were paired on-screen it was in 1996 in the fairly decent dramatic thriller The Juror, in which her title character was menaced by his mob enforcer. Things are comparatively less melodramatic in their latest vehicle, Blind, directed by Michael Mailer and written by John Buffalo Mailer, both of whom are sons of the late literary giant Norman.

    Moore plays Suzanne Dutchman, first introduced celebrating her 19th wedding anniversary to Mark (Dylan McDermott), a hedge funder who has obviously seen The Wolf of Wall Street one too many times. That he is involved in some shady shenanigans is no surprise to anyone but Suzanne, who is shocked when he’s arrested and sent to jail for fraud. She’s implicated as well, though she gets off with community service which she serves at a center for the blind.

    It is there that she meets Bill Oakland (Baldwin), billed as the Indominus Rex of the center, a one-novel wonder whose career was cut short when he lost his sight (and his wife) in a car accident. He spends his time in the center, where he listens to volunteers read his students’ essays to him. Suffice to say, the poised socialite does not take too well to the blustery and arrogant crank, though their initial hostility will unsurprisingly give way to something more romantic.

    Once Baldwin tones down the Baldwinisms and the film settles into the couple’s romance, Blind becomes a highly pleasant diversion. Baldwin and Moore’s on-screen personas have always meshed very well together, and it’s somewhat of a shame that the films they have appeared in together have never fully exploited their chemistry. For a time, Blind appears to do so but the film contains too many narrative strands, all of which possess wildly different tones. There’s a hint that this might be a look at a Ruth Madoff-type character sketch, then there’s Bill’s mentorship of aspiring writer which plays like a retread of the 2011 French film The Intouchables (whose American remake The Upside will be released in 2018), and then there’s Mark’s overbaked jealousy and possessiveness – none of the strands are really interesting nor particularly developed, so they just feel like unnecessary clutter.

    Despite the muddled narrative and, with the exception of Baldwin and Moore, broad performances from his cast, Mailer does a commendable job with his feature film debut, crafting a sleek and visually engaging film that somehow satisfies in spite of its various inadequacies.

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  • 2017’s Blind is my latest review. The opening scenes are intriguing. Then, Blind descends into yet another film in which the screenwriters become vague. Yes I’m talking about the details on how criminal characters are arrested, processed, and put through the almighty penal system. So OK, let’s get all the puns out of the way shall we. There’s basically no harm in “seeing” Blind. Natch.

    Now in Blind, Robert Redford sings a song during the closing credits. That’s right, Robert Redford. He’s not one of Blind’s producers, he doesn’t star in Blind, and he’s not behind the camera in any capacity. I mean how random is that?

    Anyway, the story of Blind is as follows: Suzanne Dutchman (Demi Moore) and Mark Dutchman (Dylan McDermott) are a rich, married couple living in New York City. Mark who’s a crooked businessman, gets detained by police and thrown in jail. As Mark awaits trial, Suzanne also gets charged with knowing about her husband’s illegal dealings. She’s sentenced to community service and has to take care of a blind novelist named Bill Oakland (played by Alec Baldwin). Bill and Suzanne eventually have an affair all to the dismay of an angered Mark.

    Blind, which proclaims that Brooklyn is the new Paris, is set to a backdrop of something akin to what Peter Glantz did when he directed 2014’s The Longest Week. In truth, some of Blind is tedious and some of it is professing. Ultimately, this askew dramatization gets mixed results from me.

    The acting from the leads nevertheless, is pretty decent. Everything else around them, not so much. Baldwin and Moore have okay chemistry but McDermott is truly the standout. As a dude who cheats on his wife and cheats on the American public, no one does ruthless, cold, and cunning quite like Dylan McDermott. As for Baldwin, well he paints an admirable portrait channeling a persona who can’t see five feet in front of him. However, he’s no Al Pacino (see next paragraph). Alec Baldwin’s way of playing a blind chap is to pick a spot on the wall and basically stare at it. Valiant try there Alec.

    In conclusion, Blind at ninety-eight minutes, is caught somewhere between a hard drama and a catatonic love story. Directed by Michael Mailer with a screenplay by John Buffalo Mailer (Michael’s younger brother), Blind is for the most part, kind of watchable. Still, Mailer’s film is sort of uneven as it shifts its cinematic tones literally on a dime. Imagine watching something that comes off like Scent of a Woman meets Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Then, add a TV movie feel to it. That’s what you get with Blind. After watching it, I realized that Blind is a flick that doesn’t really know what it wants to be. “Eyesight” isn’t exactly 20/20. My rating: 2 and a half stars.

    Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars

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