Thursday, November 26, 2009

Movie Review- "The Blind Side"

A great sports movie focuses on the sport and players. In that regard, “The Blind Side” is a good sports movie. There is a fair amount of football playing and football lore. In all honesty, I couldn’t call it a great sports movie.

For a movie to qualify as a blockbuster, it usually has big, big names and lots of special effects. Okay, Sandra Bullock and Kathy Bates are big names. Tim McGraw has done some acting but his fame is in other fields and most of the other players in the drama aren’t big names – yet. And there aren’t any razzle-dazzle special effects.

What “The Blind Side” does accomplish is to tell a wonderful story of people touching each other’s lives, and it happens to include football. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw are Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, well-to-do people with two children. They have it all – the big house, the cars, their kids in private school, successful businesses.

An impulsive act by Leigh Anne takes a homeless black student into their upper class home and world. Their story of connecting as human beings beyond boundaries of background, color and means is an extraordinary adventure. This is the tale of making a difference when you didn’t have anything to gain by taking action. Her “just for one night” helping hand changes all of their lives.

“The Blind Side” is the story of real-life football player Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens and is based on “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis. I haven’t read the book yet so I can’t address how accurately or inaccurately the movie follows the book. I can tell you that this is a movie about moving from lip service Christianity to Christianity in action.

While it hasn’t been touted as an overtly faith-based movie to my knowledge, faith is a big part of the characters and their motivations. I am particularly drawn to the scenes where Bullock’s character is interacting with her social peers. Her evolution from society maven to outspoken champion is a delight to watch.

I am a fan of most of Sandra Bullock’s work. She is a gifted lady who makes a role come to life in a way that I appreciate as a viewer. This film only cements my opinion of her.

McGraw is likable as the slightly bemused husband to steamroller-Bullock. I look forward to seeing him in other roles. Bates is quirky and delightful as the tutor hired to help Michael (played with great finesse by Quinton Aaron) get his grades up enough to qualify to play football. Don’t overlook Jae Head and Lilly Collins as the Tuohy children. They are great.

John Lee Hancock is the director and screenwriter. The film is rated PG-13; there are some drug references and one violent scene. None is gratuitous. I’m sorry to say that I don’t think this movie will win many Oscars. It isn’t bloody enough or spectacular enough to attract Oscar attention. That is the Academy’s loss.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The relationships, the personal growth and the courage of the people are inspirational. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly encourage you to see it soon. If you want to come out of a movie feeling good, this is the one.

You can learn more about this film at the website:

© 2009 Mary Beth Magee

Update: Well, the entertainment world has surprised me. "The Blind Side" and the cast have received a number of awards and accolades, including Academy Award nominations!  I am so happy to be proven wrong! Best wishes as you go into the Oscar presentations...I'll be rooting for you!

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