#10: The Blind Side (2009)

#10: The Blind Side (2009)



The Blind Side (2009) is an Oscar winning film directed and written by John Lee Hancock. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’ best-seller book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. This biographical movie tells the incredible story of the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft, Michael Oher. This is a heartwarming movie that will leave you feeling inspired.

Before Oher becomes a member of the Baltimore Ravens, his life had been more than challenging. His mother is a drug addict, he doesn’t know who his father is, and he bounces between friends’ houses. With the help of his best friend’s dad, he is enrolled into a prestigious private high school. It is here that Oher meets the Tuohy’s, a well to do suburban family. The matriarchal figure of the family, Leigh Anne Tuohy, makes it her mission to provide all that she can for Michael. She takes him into her home and provides him with the means necessary to qualify for a NCAA Division I athletic scholarship.

Sandra Bullock truly embodies the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy. Her whole persona is immediately likeable, as she is not only extraordinarily maternal (in her own way), but also the glue that keeps the Tuohy family together. Leigh Anne is the character that initially confronted Michael and invited him to stay with their family. This sparks a revolution in Leigh Anne’s family and friends. She is initially mimicked by her friends and sister, stating that her new charity could be entitled “Project for the Projects”. Strong-headed Leigh Anne does not let this stop her. She truly loves and cares for Michael as her own child. She even puts him in their Christmas card!


Jae Head, who plays Sean Jr. (S.J. for short), provides comedic relief to almost all scenes with his unforgettable character and wittiness. He serves not only as a playful character, but Michael’s sidekick. When Michael is being recruited by colleges, SJ bargains with them, searching for the best deal. Tim McGraw (Sean Tuohy) and Lily Collins (Collins Tuohy) also contribute to the main cast. They are the more subtle family roles, but without them, the movie simply wouldn’t be the same.

This whole movie, however, is centralized on one main character, Michael Oher. Oher is played by Quinton Aaron, who does an extraordinary job depicting his character. His emotions and feelings are clearly shown. His transformation is dependent on the Tuohy family, and they work together seamlessly in portraying this unusual family dynamic.

The storyline follows the ups and downs of Michael’s journey as he struggles to leave behind his life of poverty. Upon attending the catholic high school, Michael finds himself surrounded and outnumbered by white; everywhere. He not only feels out of place physically, but also mentally, as his GPA begins with a zero. It is with the help of his tutor and teachers that he is able to raise his GPA to become eligible for scholarship.

Very few special effects were used in this movie, due to its biographical nature. A majority of this film is shot on the high school campus, but other scenes take place in the Tuohy house, or in the Projects.

The Blind Side is extremely lighthearted, despite its bigger theme. In the beginning of the movie when Michael and his friend visit the private school, they come across an unlocked bin of basketballs, his initial statement is simply “White people are crazy”. This simple humor is continued throughout the remainder of the film and contributes to its overall enjoyment.

This film continually contrasts two extremes of society- poverty and wealth. The audience is taken first hand into Oher’s early childhood memories with the use of flashbacks. These are crucial in helping us understand his past and his character as a whole. The scene where Leigh Anne visits Michael’s birth mother is particularly heart wrenching. It depicts the poor quality of life that Michael had growing up. This movie succeeds in showing us the not-so-well-known side of town.

The theme of this movie is that no matter where you come from, you can become anything. Sometimes it takes a little push and a lot of hard work, but anything is attainable with a support system and some faith. This underlying message is recurrent throughout the film, and will leave you feeling blessed. I highly recommend this feel-good movie.



Actual Tuohy family (from left to right: Sean, Leigh Anne, Michael, Collins, & SJ)

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