Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Blind Side (2009) [PG-13] ****

Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) is the strong-willed wife of a wealthy Memphis, Tennessee fast-food franchisee Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). Through accident or divine grace, she crosses life paths with Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) a homeless boy of lower-than-average IQ, who grew up in the rough, dangerous world of the Memphis projects, was abandoned by his drug-addicted mother, and repeatedly ran away from foster homes.

Due to his athletic abilities, Michael has been provisionally accepted at the upscale private school attended by the two Tuohy children SJ (Jae Head) and Collins (Lily Collins), but his life changes for the better when Leigh Anne offers him shelter from the freezing rain, and a temporary place to sleep for the night. Considered academically hopeless by many of his teachers, Michael displays an off-the-charts ability in one area – protective instincts – and building on this ability, Leigh Anne shows Michael and his football coach (Ray McKinnon) how Michael can be successful on the gridiron. Although he's not sure what he wants to do with his life, Michael goes on to succeed at Ole Miss in college football as a left tackle, protecting his quarterback's blind side, and he is subsequently drafted by the NFL Baltimore Ravens.

This is a heart-warming, family-oriented story about overcoming obstacles. It's really about the relationship between Leigh Anne Tuohy and Michael Oher, and how they change each other's lives. Both Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron give fine performances, although I think it's a stretch to consider Sandra Bullock's performance an Oscar winner. Young Jae Head is sympathetic and amusing in a supporting role as the youthful SJ Tuohy. The Blind Side was written and directed by John Lee Hancock from a book by Michael Lewis. Hancock directed The Rookie, which starred Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths, and which critics agree is a much better film about having a dream and overcoming obstacles. If you enjoyed The Rookie and if you like uplifting, football-oriented stories like Remember the TitansRadio or Friday Night Lights, then you won't want to miss The Blind Side. 

Labels: biography, drama, football
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 53/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=61, viewers=82)
Wikipedia - Michael Oher

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