Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Blind Side***

Starring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Ray McKinnon, Jae Head, Lily Collins and Kathy Bates.

Rated PG-13

Directed by John Lee Hancock

Screenplay by John Lee Hancock

Based on the book written by Michael Lewis

* * *

The Blind Side is a peek into the true story of NFL offensive linebacker Michael Oher and the woman who changed his life. Based in Mississippi, Oher, or "Big Mike," is a lost, homeless teenager who finds home sweet home in a rather unlikely place. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), an elite southerner with a big heart takes Oher (Quinton Aaron) under her wing and pushes him to do his best in school and on the football field.

Bullock fills the shoes of Leigh Anne Tuohy flawlessly. Just as she shows viewers her serious side in 2004's Crash, The Blind Side is a soulful, deep story of a mother who reaches across the boundaries of race and class to rescue a forlorn child and love him as one of her own. Bullock actually shadowed the real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family, so she could portray her perfectly polished, blonde-coifed, pearl-sporting, uppercrust character as closely as possible.

Tim McGraw plays Mr. Tuohy, the supportive husband who seems content to let his wife wear the pants, and who supports all of her decisions, no matter how crazy they seem. Both McGraw and Bullock come from the south, so playing southern-bred characters isn't such a stretch.

The relatively unknown Quinton Aaron, who stars as Michael Oher, has a quiet role. Oher is portrayed as a gentle bear of a boy who, despite learning disabilities is intelligent and incredibly protective of his family. Kathy Bates is Miss Sue, Oher's tutor, who not only helps him in high school, but also follows him to college!

The film is sweet, endearing and inspiring. It focuses not just on football, but on the unique relationship between Mrs. Tuohy and Oher.

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