The Blind Side (2009): Heart Warming True Story

Cover of "The Blind Side"
Cover of The Blind Side

The first time I saw this movie it was under duress. Despite being a huge Sandra Bullock fan, I am usually allergic to these type of films. I, for instance, hated the 1979 film, The Champ. This ‘tear-jerker’ was a big hit with audiences. With Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Shroder starring in this remake of the 1931 original with Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper The Champ was a ‘lump-in-your-throat’ film that encouraged audiences to bawl their eyes out.

Manufactured tear-jerkers or ‘happy-happy’ films or ‘feel-good’ films are not my cup of tea. Then my daughter carefully explained it was based on a true story. I still was not convinced. But since I know my place in this world, I sat down and begrudgingly watched it.

I will admit that I fell madly in love with the film.

The film is about Michael Oher (pronounced Orr) who is taken in by the Tuohy family or rather he is taken in by Leigh Anne Tuohy and family support her decision. The Tuohy’s meet Michael when he is seventeen and he has been admitted into Wingate High School based on the school football coach’s recommendation. The coach wants Michael because he is huge and the coach envisions Michael becoming a crucial part of the football team.

The film follows not only Michael’s journey from his arrival to the high school up to his being accepted by the National Football League. It also follows the Touhy’s who adopt Michael and hire a tutor to help him get his grades up to scratch so he can get into a good university.

The only fly in the ointment, is the NAACP who accuse the Tuohys of influencing Michael’s decision about which university he will attend.

The Blind Side is  similar to  On Golden Pond. There is minimal violence (and that takes place mainly on the football field), no sex, no drugs, no knives or car chases and only a few guns. Unlike On Golden Pond it is based on true events. If you doubt that fact pay close attention to the last scene of the film where the real Michael comes out after he’s been drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and ‘poses’ with his family on stage.

Or you could just look at the pictures that run during the credits that show Michael and his adoptive  family, the Tuohy’s.

This is the kind of film that makes you wish more people were like Leigh Anne Tuohy and her special family. These folks gave a chance to a young man whose size was the only thing he had going for him.

I now watch The Blind Side often. It always affects me the same way. I laugh, get angry and get ”choked up.” A lot. I defy anyone to watch this film and not feel buoyant and optimistic after watching it.

Sandra Bullock has never been better as Leigh Anne Tuohy and Quinton Aaron is heartbreakingly brilliant as Michael Oher. The entire cast give great performances. Kathy Bates is delightful as the Democrat supporting tutor, Miss Sue  and towards the end of the film, I defy you to not really dislike the NAACP lady who browbeats Michael and makes him momentarily doubt the motives of his adoptive family.

The Blind Side makes a touchdown instead of just getting the first down. I would highly recommend that if you have not watched this film, to rush right out and grab a DVD or ‘stream it.’

I also recommend having a box of tissues handy.

Michael Oher at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp...
Michael Oher at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp August 5, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

2 thoughts on “The Blind Side (2009): Heart Warming True Story”

  1. This actually was a really good one. I’m not usually big on the ‘feel good’ stuff either, especially if they’re sports-related films. If you’ve seen one, chances are, you’ve seen most, if not all, of them. But this one was particularly good. I think this kind of movie really only stands a chance IF it’s based on a true story. I, for one, would have zero interest otherwise. The scene where Sandra puts the street gang in their place always leaves me grinning. 🙂


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