Movie Review: The Blind Side

Movie Review: The Blind Side

The Blind Side

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PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.
Running Time: 2 hours 6 minutes

A poor under-educated 344 pound African-American teenager in Memphis, whose father was murdered and whose mother was a crack addict, is shuffled through the public school system, despite his low grade point average and absenteeism. After seeing him walking along the side of the road on a cold and damp night, Leigh Anne Touhy is stirred with compassion to take him into their home.

In football, as in life, the value we place on people changes with the rules of the games they play.

Based On A True Story

The young man at the center of this story will one day be among the most highly paid athletes in the National Football League. Michael Oher, a homeless African-American boy from a broken home, is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. But, it’s not just a story about a homeless person being transformed into a changed person, it’s also a story about the Touhys’. Oher’s presence in their lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, Oher faces a completely different set of challenges. As a football player and student, he works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

Many times based on true story sport movies are predictable. As a matter of fact, in the past, I’ve come to dread screenings for movies like The Blind Side for that very reason. Somewhere along the line Hollywood decided they could make a quick buck by turning a tear-jerker true life sports story into a movie. But, along the way, producers and writers fell into a cookie-cutter-method for churning out such movies. The end result, nothing more than a sappy pull-at-your-heart-strings-flick with the predictable bad turns to good storyline.

What makes The Blind Side different?

This Warner Brothers movie takes a unique and creative approach to what could have been the mundane. Instead of simply focusing on the athlete side of the story, the scriptwriters also show how the lives of the family helping the athlete were effected too. In this adaptation of the Michael Lewis book entitled The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the life of Michael Oher interweaves with the life and journey of his adoptive family, the Touhy’s. If anything, The Blind Side is less about the journey of Michael Oher, and more about how the Touhy’s discover they’ve lived a sheltered life and there’s more to life than just money and material things.

But, it doesn’t end there!

While we do see Oher’s journey to becoming an NFL draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens, we learn more about his journey from the rough and tough streets, to a world of football. The Blind Side is more than just another athlete street survivor movie. The Blind Side shows just how blind we as a society have become when it comes to breaking out of a downward spiral spin, toward a life of purpose and destiny. It also illustrates how change can take place without having to scream and yell. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting involved with one life, and discovering what makes that life tick, in order to help and encourage someone.

One of the most moving parts for me is when Leigh Anne Touhy, played by Sandra Bullock, asks Michael Oher, played by Quinton Aaron to tell her one thing she needs to know about him. Instead of lamenting about his hard and unfortunate childhood, Oher looks at her and says – “I don’t like being called Big Mike.” – It’s at that moment that Leigh Anne Touhy suddenly discovers “Michael” is a person who’s simply trying to make his way through life the best way he can.

A Movie Worthy of Awards

As for the over-all feel of The Blind Side, clocking in at slightly more than 2 hours, it does get off to a little bit of a slow start. While we applaud the producers for not covering up what for the most part is a great script with music, they needed something to help the beginning of the movie move along a little faster. However, after about the first 15 minutes, The Blind Side settles into its plot line and becomes an absolutely terrific movie.

As for the acting, Sandra Bullock is exceptional. She seems very comfortable with this character, mingling in her great sense of comedic timing, along with a terrific dramatic and serious touch to the character as well. This could very well bring her an award come next year. If she doesn’t win something, it’s only because Hollywood has a tendency to ignore this genre of movie when it comes to award time.

In a nutshell, The Blind Side is a family-friendly movie, for the PG-13 rating, with an incredible balance between sports, and the life journey of each character involved.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.