by Cameron Moore
“The Blind Side” is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager who was able to overcome great obstacles in order to become a first round draft pick in the NFL. Michael Oher had a rough childhood as he didn’t know his father and his mother was addicted to drugs. He was in and out of foster homes and at times living on the street. The football coach at Wingate, a private school, saw football potential in Michael and got him admitted into the prestigious school. However, he had learning disabilities and still did not have a permanent home. Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother of a Wingate student, Collins, and wife of the owner of several Taco Bell restaurants, finds out about Michael’s predicament and invites him to stay the night at their home. Once Michael is in the Tuohy home, a close relationship develops between him and the Tuohys. The one night stay turns into a permanent living situation for Oher. Leigh Anne makes it her personal mission to make sure Michael has everything he needs emotionally and academically to graduate from high school and to get admitted to Ole Miss. After a successful college football campaign, Oher was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round in 2009, thus fulfilling his dream.
This movie has it all. As you watch it, you experience the emotions of both sadness and joy, as you watch this young man go from being homeless to being drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. One of the saddest parts of the film is where Leigh Anne goes looking for Oher’s mother. You are able to see the awful environment in which he has grown up, including drugs and filth. On the other hand, one of the happiest scenes in the film is when Leigh Anne is having a meal with some of her wealthy white lady friends. They are discussing the possible adoption of Oher by the Tuohy family. One of the women remarks that Leigh Anne should really be concerned about the welfare of her beautiful, white daughter Collins. Leigh Anne tells the women they should be ashamed of themselves for thinking that way.
There are also many scenes that will have you laughing. For instance, in one game scene, Oher blocks an opposing team’s player clear off the field. After the whistle, Oher says, “Sorry, Coach. I stopped when I heard the whistle.” The coach asks where Oher was taking the opposing player. Oher responds, “The bus. It was time for him to go home.” In that same game, the referee throws a flag on Oher. The coach asks why he threw the flag. The referee responds, “excessive blocking.”
The sacrifices that the Tuohy family was willing to make for a complete stranger are inspiring. Sandra Bullock received an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. Other actors you may recognize in the film include Kathy Bates as Miss Sue and country singer Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy. This movie was nominated for Best Picture at the 82nd annual Academy Awards, but lost to “The Hurt Locker”. I haven’t seen “The Hurt Locker”, but having seen “The Blind Side”, I find it hard to believe there was a better film released in 2009. I give this movie four stars and highly recommend it to anyone of any age.