Friday, December 4, 2009

Coming Up On Your Blindside Is One Very Good Movie

Hollywood has told the sports hero story so many times that they seem to be run of the mill cliche stories now. Every so often one comes along that will actually get you to smile and cheer. This year it is "The Blind Side" the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time Michael slowly becomes a part of the family.

Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) the leader of the Tuohy household spots Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) walking in the cold rain one night she stops him and discovers he has no where to sleep, she offers him a room in her stately home and in just a short time Michael is living in his own room under the Tuohy roof. Leigh Anne's husband Sean (Tim McGraw) is at first skeptical of taking Michael in but soon learns that he is just a gentle giant. The Tuohy kids S.J. (Jae Head) and Collins (Lily Collins) both come to accept and love Michael.

Michael's grades are so poor that at first the school board thinks they have made a mistake but letting him enroll in their program, but with the help of a tutor, Miss Sue (Kathy Bates) his grades improve enough so that he can go out for football, a sport that he is built for. On the field Michael is at first a tentative player until Leigh Anne tells him he must protect his teammates like he would his family, and in an instant he goes from inept to unstoppable. When Michael gets so good and college recruiters start calling on him the NCAA thinks the Tuohys led him to their college Ole Miss.

There is a even balance of drama and humor in this film, it is dramatic but doesn't get heavy the laughs feel genuine and are perfect for the moment. The drama comes when we as the audience get a look into Michael's childhood, we learn he has been removed from his mother's home because she is on drugs, we learn that Michael lives in a dangerous project on the "other side" of town, and we learn that Michael really has a knack for protective instincts. The movie does have its little quirks as well, the Tuohy family is too perfect, they never fight or argue. Blind Side also glosses over several racial and class stereotypes, the movie bashes Democrats, as well as some Southerners, a scene where Leigh Anne tells her friends they should be ashamed of them selves because of several statements that Michael was Leigh Anne's newest project. Her "Project project" as it were.

I give The Blind Side a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0, this is a very good movie to take your family to see, even if your not a sports fan and a college football fan in particular. That's not to say the movie has a few faults, the one biggest is the fact that once Michael gets into the private school, Steve Hamilton, the boy whose family Michael was staying with when he started attending Briarwood is gone from the movie, and Bullock's Southern accent slips in a few scenes. If that is all this cynic can pick out then you should believe that this movie is going to be around for awhile and I can't recommend it enough. In a time of family dramas and Oscar contenders the Blind Side scores a touchdown.

The Blind side is rated PG-13 for One Scene Involving Violence, Drug and Sexual Referneces
Running time is 2 hrs. 06 mins.

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