The Blind Side is a 2009 American drama–sports film written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book ‘The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game‘ by Michael Lewis. The story follows Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), an offensive lineman who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. It follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing through to being a multi-million dollar athlete. For her performance as Michael’s adoptive mother Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for Best Actress and the film itself received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
It’s important to state I read the book before the film and I feel that it leaves out a lot of the grim material that made the book so gritty and appealing to read. The film really doesn’t do justice to the underworld from which Michael arose. Not having the same place to stay regularly and living a life without structure or support system.
The film has received plenty of criticism from people who have not read the book and therefore feel the story is ‘too good to be true’, but I felt it understated the fairytale nature of this true rags to riches story. Aged 12, Michael goes from having a 0.2 GPA which equates to the intelligence of a 5-year-old to building up a GPA which allows him to play sports and get a place at college, in just a few years of tutoring.
Many will dislike the emotion filled drama and fairytale storyline, probably sucked in with promise of sports and action. However, when accepting the film for what it is – an emotionally dramatic true story – then you begin to see what is actually an excellent film. Bullock is unbelievably accurate to the real life Leigh Anne Tuohy and Aaron does a good (if not easy) job as the quiet big guy learning to open up.
This is one film that only the toughest of hearts won’t warm too. The script comes largely from the book and can’t be faulted and the acting is believable and enjoyable – which sums up the movie.