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The Blind Side


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By TM
The Blind Side





This film is based on the 2006 book “The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game,” by Michael Lewis.

It depicts the life of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a 6' 8" (2.03 m) homeless youngster who has been living for 17 years with different foster care families; but he never could adapt himself to them. Later he is discovered as a natural athlete with big potential on Football, thanks to his enormous stature, big strength and excellent performance, and is enrolled into Wingate Christian School (which is the fictional name used in the film, instead of Michael Oher's real life Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee) when the coach convinces the school principal to do so.

Michael meets Sean "SJ" Jr. Tuohy (Jae Head) and befriends him. One day, on pre-holiday Thanksgiving school festival, SJ's mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), discovers Michael is homeless and finds him walking on the road, shivering in the freezing cold; so she offers Michael to spend the night with the family. The next morning she invites him to stay and spend Thanksgiving day with them. Finally he further stays and slowly becomes part of the family; despite Leigh Anne's friends and neighbors tell her it would not be convenient for her children.

The relationship of Michael with the Tuohys and their children grows and they become big friends; so much that Leigh Anne cares about his academic performance and goes to the school as his tutor. Sean (Tim McGraw), Leigh Anne's husband, also helps him get enrolled in the school football team.

After some time the presence of Michael in the Touhys'  lives leads them to discover deeper things about each other in the family. But it is not only the Touhys who change, but Michael too; as this new situation makes him set some goals for the first time in his life as well as face some challenges in order to achieve his new dreams. One of these challenges is the requirement of an academic Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 to get a NCAA Division I Scholarship but his GPA is lower than the required average. So with the help of the Tuohys, a private tutor (Miss Sue, played by Kathy Bates) and some hard work he will do everything to make his dreams come true. But things won't be so easy and both the Tuohys and Michael will have to overcome some difficulties.

This is a dramatic story that shows us that even at the worst situations when people have dreams, faith in themselves and the love of friends and family, they can do anything.

This film received was generally well received by the critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this film may strike some viewers as a little too pat, but it has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock. 

Critic  Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post, gave it a positive review, saying that this film "is much better than its ads, largely because it's based on the true story of Michael Oher and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Grounded in the direct, disarming truth of their experience, the movie has a straightforward lack of cheap sentiment that saves it from being either too maudlin or saccharine-sweet."  She also said that it contains the kind of entertaining uplift Hollywood does best, its dramatic elements leavened by frequent moments of comedy (mostly at the hands of Leigh Anne's precocious youngest son, played by Jae Head) and stirring sports sequences.

Another film critic who reviewed it positively, film has as much humor as heart and that this is Bullock's movie. "She is Leigh Anne to such a degree you forget you're watching one of the best-known actresses around. And while her sass is both endearing and highly entertaining, it is the way she masks Leigh Anne's 'never let them see you cry' vulnerability, especially when it comes to Michael -- the quick retreats when she's moved, shoulder thrown back, eyes staring straight ahead as she hands out the latest set of marching orders -- that leave you cheering for her too."

Owen Gleiberman, of Entertaining Weekly, said that The Blind Side is a feel-good movie that never stops feeling good. He qualified the film as one based on a true story, in which you never feel that Hancock has honestly captured what's true about it. He considers that he is so devoted to showing us what upbeat, selfless folks Leigh Anne and her family are that the movie never quite gets around to discovering what any of those far superior saintly-family TV shows surely would have: a dramatic conflict. "Will Michael manage to get his grades up? Will he make it on the football team? And how will he handle those college recruiters?"  He also considers that this film offers a kind of liberal Hollywood version of conservative values: all rock-solid valor, all the time; making the the result to be not solid at all and more like cotton-candy uplift.

Julia Roberts was fist offered the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

When Quinton Aaron auditioned for the film, he was working as a security guard between acting gigs. After his audition, he left a card with his contact information and offered to work as a security guard on the set in case he wasn't selected to play Michael.

Oher was an experienced football player when he enrolled at Briarcrest. He developed into a premier left tackle, and was heavily recruited by top schools in the Southeastern Conference. Oher was upset by the movie's depiction of him as passive, unskilled big guy whose only skill are related to football.

While the movie shows Collins Tuohy and Michael Oher studying together at home and school. Collins, an A student, rearranged her schedules, and dropped out of several advanced placement classes, to share more classes with Michael and help him graduate.

Despite the movie depicts Memphis, TN it has been filmed on locations in Georgia.


Awards: 

It has 2 Academy Awards nominations. One for Best Motion Picture of the Year and one for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Sandra Bullock).

It won 1 Golden Globe for the Best Performance by an Actress(Sandra Bullock) in a Motion Picture - Drama category.

It won 1 Screen Actors Guild Award for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role category (Sandra Bullock).

It has 2 Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards nominations for the Best Actress (Sandra Bullock)  and Best Adapted Screenplay categories.

It won 1 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for the Best Performance by a Youth - Male category (Jae Head)

It has 4 Image Awards nominations for the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Quinton Aaron), Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Sandra Bullock), Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (John Lee Hancock) and Outstanding Motion Picture categories.

It has 2 Critics Choice Awards nominations for the Best Actress (Sandra Bullock) and Best Young Actor/Actress (Jae Head) categories. It won 1 for the Best Actress (Sandra Bullock) category.

It has 4 Black Reel Awards nominations for the Best Actor (Quinton Aaron), Best Breakthrough Performance (Quinton Aaron), Best Film and Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted (John Lee Hancock) categories.


Trivia: 

The Blind Side was adapted from a nonfiction best-seller by Michael Lewis.

This film is a financial success, as it has a budget of just U$S29 million and as of February 28, 2010 it grossed over U$S 249 million worldwide. It is also ranked as the 290th all time grossing film.

During its opening weekend in 3110 theaters, it grossed  U$S 34,510,000 being the second highest gross of that weekend, behind the The Twilight Saga: New Moon; with a per theater average of U$S 10,971.

This film's opening weekend was the highest-grossing of Sandra Bullock's career.

Bullock is now the only actress ever to have a film marketed with her name solely above the title (based on her star power alone, and not a franchise or tentpole picture)

Michael Oher in real life was drafted 23rd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. The Ravens were scheduled to pick 26th overall, but traded that pick and their 5th round pick to the New England Patriots to move up three spots and draft Oher.

This film credits Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants for creating a shift in offensive football strategy, where teams started to choose large heavy players to fill the position of left tackle and protect the blind side of right handed quarterbacks.

Miss Sue introduces herself to Mr. and Mrs. Tuohy as a Democrat. In Primary Colors (1998), Kathy Bates also plays the role of a consultant to a philandering Democratic presidential candidate loosely based on Bill Clinton.

Sandra Bullock's father was from Alabama; she was born and raised in Virginia, was a high school cheerleader (like Collins Tuohy), dated a football player and attended college in North Carolina.

McGraw was born, raised and attended college in Louisiana and loved playing sports as a kid even though he was unaware at the time that his biological father was a professional baseball player.

As of the 2009-2010 season, Sean Tuohy was entering his ninth season as a broadcaster for the NBA Memphis Grizzlies. He also has a successful fast food business; something that is depicted in this film.

 


Cast: 
  • Sandra Bullock: Leigh Anne Tuohy
     
  • Tim McGraw: Sean Tuohy
     
  • Quinton Aaron: Michael Oher
     
  • Jae Head: S.J. Tuohy
     
  • Lily Collins: Collins Tuohy
     
  • Ray McKinnon: Coach Burt Cotton
     
  • Kim Dickens: Mrs. Boswell
     
  • Adriane Lenox: Denise Oher
     
  • Kathy Bates: Miss Sue

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