This inspiring and sports-raving film is based on the true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher and how a kind gesture changed the lives of many.
Set in Tennessee, “The Blind Side” stars newcomer Quinton Aaron as homeless 18-year old Michael (Big Mike) Oher who was abandoned by his crack addicted mother. After being bounced between public schools, a friend helps him get into Wingate Christian High School in Memphis where the teachers see him as a charity case and don’t think he can make it. Michael finds himself a lone black kid, swimming in a sea of white faces.
In an Oscar buzz-worthy performance, Sandra Bullock (“The Proposal”) stars as Leigh Anne Tuohy, a hot, wealthy and very strong willed interior designer who doesn’t take no for an answer. Country music star Tim McGraw plays husband Sean Tuohy, an entrepreneur who owns over 70 Taco Bells in the area. Lily Collins (daughter of musician Phil Collins) plays their teenage daughter, Collins, and Jae Head (“Hancock”) gives an outstanding performance as Sean Jr. (S.J.), a spunky and outgoing 9-year old who loves attention.
One night, the Tuohys drive past Michael walking down the road in the freezing cold. When Leigh Anne discovers Michael has no place to go, she brings him back to the family’s estate to spend the night. The next day, she takes Michael to the ghetto of Memphis to get his things and finds that he would be better off staying with her for awhile.
In a series of heart-touching moments, Michael quickly becomes part of the Tuohy family when they decide to legally adopt him. He gets his own room and says it’s the first time he’s ever had his own bed. Each little moment brings out Michael’s personality and opens up the eyes of the rest of the family to what is really important. Leigh Anne realizes that not only is she changing Michael’s life, he is changing hers.
One day, S.J. and Michael get into a car accident and Michael punches the airbag to keep S.J. from getting hurt. After realizing Michael’s protective skills, the Tuohys have him try out for the football team. Michael humorously starts to learn the game with the help of his little brother coaching him. Leigh Anne tells him that the football team is his family and he needs to protect them like he would his own.
With the help of a tutor, Ms. Sue (an always comedic Kathy Bates), Michael improves his grades enough to get into college, quickly becoming a popular offensive lineman recruit. In one of the funniest scenes of the film, he gets offers from every prominent school in the south, including Tennessee and Louisiana State, but not without S.J.’s negotiating tactics. Michael decides to follow in his adoptive parents’ and Ms. Sue’s footsteps and become an Ole Miss Rebel at the University of Mississippi.
The football scenes are enough to keep sports-fans happy while still telling the inspiring story of Michael and the Tuohys. It’s “Remember the Titans” meets “We Are Marshall” meets any other action packed sports movie with a comedic and heartwarming twist. The family pictures during the credits and the video clip of Oher being drafted into the NFL help keep you in perspective that it wasn’t just a Hollywood plot, but a remarkable true story.
Kathryn Gomez is a junior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.