The Blind Side, starring Quentin Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw and Kathy Bates. Directed by John Lee Hancock. 2009. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.S67 B55 2010.
Tip-toeing through what could be saccharine/maudlin territory, and managing to mostly avoid it, The Blind Side is based on the true story of Michael Oher, an abandoned, shy and gentle teen-aged boy who is literally plucked off the streets by the Touhys, a white Republican, Evangelical family, and taken in to their Nashville home. Mother Leigh Anne Touhy takes an interest in the teen and begins to nurture him, helping him in school and on the football field—he’s never before touched a football. Oher, in turn, blossoms, becomes an All-American left guard, wins a scholarship to the University of Mississippi and eventually becomes a professional football player.
Wesley Morris, film critic for the Boston Globe, points out an interesting sub-text in this film: though it’s actually Michael Oher’s story, it’s told primarily from the point of view of Leigh Anne Touhy. This makes it, he says, a more comfortable, Hollywood view of race in America, where no one wonders why the city schools seem all black and the private schools except for their athletes, are primarily white. Still, this is a smart film, worth watching; the main characters are pitch perfect and Bullock won an Oscar for her role.