The Blind Side is a semi-biographical sports drama film released in 2009 by Warner Bros. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’ 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. It is directed by John Lee Hancock, and stars Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates and Quintin Aaron (who played Michael Oher).
The movie features the life of Michael Oher, an offensive lineman player for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). Michael Oher grew up being fostered by different families throughout Memphis, Tennessee since he was separated from his father and drug-addict mother. At 17, he is lucky enough to be admitted in Wingate Christian School as the coach is impressed with his size and athleticism despite his pathetic academic record. Yet, Michael remains to be meek, shy and distant from other people. One night he has a chance encounter with the Tuohy family – a wealthy, well-educated and devout Christian family. The mother, Leigh Ann, learns that Michael intends to spend the night outside the school gym where it is warmer, and so touched from his plight, she invites Michael over their house. The following day, she asks Michael to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them. Gradually, Michael becomes attached to the family and soon the parents become officially his legal guardians. Michael becomes better with his academics and later plays with the school’s football team. Everything seems perfectly well, until an investigation is conducted on Michael and the Tuohys… What has Michael Oher learned from the investigator? Will it affect his relationship with the Tuohys? Will it end his dream of becoming a football star?
The Blind Side is one of the best films of 2009, and attesting to that is its nomination in the Academy Award for Best Picture. Undoubtedly, it has good material and the storyline is clear and well conveyed. Though it is not something that everyone can I relate to, The Blind Side is a touching drama and some scenes, even with simple gestures and dialogues, can really make audience come to tears, thanks to the brilliant performance of the casts. However, the film loses focus on highlighting Michael Oher’s biography; it has shifted theme from a sports film to a family drama, or from the “evolution of a game” to the “evolution of a family.” I suppose that is a play on the title, as the “blind side” has not only referred to a sport term but to the family who the main protagonist wants to protect.
Sandra Bullock, who played Leigh Anne Tuohy, is splendid, very beyond words. The character who is a sophisticated, high-class Christian woman was originally offered to Julia Roberts who turned it down. But everything paid off for Bullock whose stellar performance earned her several wins as best actress, including the Academy Awards, Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, People’s Choice Award, and 2010 Teen Choice Award. She is really good that I think she has eaten alive the other casts. She truly brought home the bacon for the film.
Moreover, the film is both a critical and commercial success. With its budget of only $29 million, The Blind Side hit box office in its first week of opening and remained to be seen in cinemas for nearly seven months. The movie received 67% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 53 at Metacritic.
Well, I can give the film four stars out of five. The missing star will be for the film’s little ‘failure” – it has not very successfully able to make a hero of the main character Michael Oher. After watching it, audience will remember more Sandra Bullock’s persona who will they look up to and idolize instead of him. Nonetheless, the movie is very appealing, moving and inspiring.