The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The sports movie with a soul

‘The Blind Side’: A true story starring Sandra Bullock

A football movie that exhibits an uncanny amount of emotional profundity, “The Blind Side” raises the bar for sports movies to come. As portrayed in a powerful nonfiction novel by Michael Lewis, “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” the film follows a homeless black high school student’s unlikely ascent to success. Lewis’ book shares the inspirational life-story of Michael Oher and analyzes the increased importance of the left tackle position in football. Oher played left tackle for Ole Miss and was a first round NFL Draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.

“The Blind Side” has fallen second only to “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” at the weekend box office since its release November 20, 2009. A blonde Sandra Bullock stars as Leigh Anne Tuohy, a well-to-do white Memphis housewife. Newcomer Quinton Aaron, who plays Michael Oher, shines as the film’s main character.

Oher, the homeless son of a cocaine-addicted mother and an absent deceased father, acquiesces to a friend’s requests and applies to a private high school despite his below-one GPA.

Despite his best efforts to lay low, at 6 feett 5 inches and 340 pounds, Oher, also known as Big Mike, draws a lot of unwanted attention to himself due to his size. Oher rarely speaks and struggles to fit in at school amongst the preppy offspring of Memphis’ conservative upper class.

Bubbling, energetic and friendly to all, Jae Head plays S.J. Tuohy, the son of Bullock’s character. S.J. approaches Big Mike as if he was just like any other student, even though Oher dwarfs the young boy in an almost comical fashion.

One fateful evening, the Tuohy family sees homeless Big Mike walking through the rain, probably heading to spend the night at the 24-hour Laundromat on the rough side of town. Mrs. Tuohy, a force not to be reckoned with, orders her husband to stop the vehicle.

At the spur of the moment, the charitable Leigh Anne Tuohy insists that Oher spend the night. The next morning, she and her husband Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) joke as to whether Oher made off with the candlesticks.

In perhaps one of the most telling visual representation of Oher’s character, Leigh Anne finds the linens Big Mike spent the night on perfectly folded and stacked on top of the couch he slept on. Never again is Michael Oher forced to seek warmth at the Laundromat. When he gets his own bedroom at the Tuohy house, Bullock’s character, a decorator, asks if he likes it. Wide-eyed, he tells her it’s his first time ever having one. She assumes he means room; however, the strong female character briskly heads to her bedroom and locks the door to cry when Oher tells her that he means bed.

Formerly placed as a special-needs student, a kind-hearted biology teacher discovers Oher understands and absorbs what’s happening in the classroom. He only performs poorly due to his formerly sporadic school attendance, a result of his previously unstable (i.e. nonexistent) home situation.

With hard-work and tutoring, Oher raises his grades enough to join the football team. However, initially he is a great disappointment.

A gentle giant, Oher possesses none of the violent hidden rage typical of players from similar backgrounds. His amazing success comes only when Mrs. Tuohy explains that his position as left tackle is to protect the quarterback, and tells him to play as if the opposing team was attacking her family.

Independent and seemingly fearless Bullock portrays an inspiring Leigh Anne Tuohy. A commanding force, Tuohy refuses to ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ offered by stereotypical society life. Despite her seven series BMW and designer clothes, Tuohy never once loses sight of what is best for her family, which Michael becomes a part of legally upon his adoption.

With the help of the Tuohy family, Michael Oher brings his formerly unrealized capabilities to fruition. He becomes a football star, receives a college scholarship and last July, after graduating from Ole Miss, he signed a 5-year $13.8 million dollar contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

“The Blind Side” stands apart from other football movies because its climax doesn’t occur during a championship game: This movie isn’t the typical storyline of the underdog on top (no offense to other great films such as “Remember the Titans” or “Friday Night Lights).”

By combining big name sports clout, Nick Saban and Lou Holtz make guest appearances as themselves, and an inspiring true story, “The Blind Side” scores big with a wide variety of audiences: even those without (gasp) the slightest interest in football.

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