Blind Side – Review
Michael Oher could have been yet another dysfunctional product of a broken African American home, drifting through the mean streets of Memphis, if not for his innate athleticism, an adoptive family and the intervention of fate. Blind Side (2009), directed by John Lee Hancock, is the film based on Michael’s remarkable life story.
Born to a mother who was addicted to crack cocaine, Michael’s early years were spent shuttling between eleven schools and several foster homes. At the age of sixteen, egged on by a good friend, he applied to a private school and was granted admission on the basis of his football playing abilities. When he was eighteen, Michael was adopted by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a white couple with children at the same school. Under their care, Michael’s personality blossomed and his academic grades inched upwards. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens during the National Football League draft of 2009. In the spring of the same year, Michael also graduated with a degree in criminal justice.
What perfect raw material for a movie! Does Blind Side live up to the real life story? Yes, mostly thanks to Sandra Bullock who pitches in with a fine, witty performance as the feisty, self-confident Leigh Anne Tuohy who impulsively takes in the homeless Michael. A well deserved Oscar for Sandra, whose “Miss Congeniality” tag often blinds audiences to her acting abilities. Tim McGraw, as her warm-hearted husband provides a perfect foil. Quinton Aaron quite literally makes heavy work of his act, as the mostly bewildered, yet sensitive Michael. That’s the way the character is, but unfortunately it slows down the pace of the film considerably.
Many folks out there have carped it as yet another film with a “white saviour” theme – go figure. Viewed purely as entertainment, Blind Side is a reasonably good watch, with some genuinely touching moments. Do check out the DVD, if you skipped it in the theatres.