The Blind Side

 

Warner Bros

 

PG-13

 

Plot Summary: A well-to-do family takes in a homeless teenager, who goes on to become a NFL football player.

 

Reason for the Rating: One scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references

 

If you see one movie this year, this is the one it should be. I know that's saying a lot, with movies such as Avatar, Up In the Air, and It's Complicated in its company for Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, but The Blind Side has a few things these movies don't.

 

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) grew up in less than ideal circumstances. Raised by a mother who was addicted to crack cocaine, he was often homeless or sent to live with friends for periods of time. It was during one of these stints at a friend's home when he started attending Briarcrest Christian School. Not admitted for his academic ability, Michael was ultimately allowed to attend due to his size and, hopefully, his abilities on the football field. But Briarcrest didn't solve Michael's problems. He still had a mother addicted to crack, and still needed a permanent place to live. With one extra set of clothing, and no place to call home, how long could he last at a place like Briarcrest?

 

Enter Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock). About as opposite from Michael as possible (he--a big, quiet, poor African-American; she--a petite, out-spoken, wealthy, white lady), Leigh Anne's heart is moved for this young man, and on a whim invites him to spend the night with she and her family. That one night turns into several years and a lot of changes.

 

There have been other inspirational, based-on-true-story movies made in the past years...Remember the Titans, We Are Marshall, and The Pursuit of Happyness to name a few. So what makes The Blind Side so different? It's watching the life of a gentle young man so ravaged by the effects of poverty, drugs, and life in the ghetto that he survives, and that's it. A life that is reality for millions of children across our country. We see Michael struggle to endure a cold night in shorts and a shirt, and wonder why his teachers can't have more compassion and grace. But what really pushes this movie over the edge is Leigh Anne Tuohy.

 

A woman who isn't afraid to tell a gang member that she's carrying a Saturday Night Special that "shoots just fine every other day of the week, too", call in football plays to the head coach from her cell phone, and is moved to tears when Michael tells her he's never had a bed of his own. She's a woman with a huge heart, and is not afraid to speak her mind. She's the kind of woman you have to admire. This is a new kind of role for Sandra Bullock, and she's truly amazing as she portrays this force that changed Michael Oher's life.

 

This is a must-see movie. It will inspire you to see beyond yourself, and question what you would be capable of achieving if you would but act.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Would you have asked Michael to stay in your home, as Leigh Anne did? Explain.

 

• What is something you have achieved that you are proud of?

 

• In what ways did Leigh Anne portray Jesus to Michael? How do your actions portray Jesus to those around you?

 

--JW

 

Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios.

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