Michael Oher was from the other side of the tracks. His mother was a crack cocaine addict. Homeless and failing in school, it seemed likely he would end up a gang member like so many of his peers from the projects. But he didn’t. He became a football player, family member and developing student, instead. Blindside is the story of how all that happened for him.
Based on the true story of the real Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Blindside is a heart-touching blend of humor and tragedy, sacrifice and transformation. But it was not only Michael who changed. His adopted family changed as well.
Sandra Bullock plays the lead as Leigh Anne Tuohy. Clearly, this is her movie. Yet, equally compelling is the fact that she does a brilliant job of it. I forgot it was the Sandra Bullock of Speed fame, and felt like I was getting to know some sense of who Leigh Anne Tuohy is.
I laughed. I reflected. I cheered. I even gasped in sorrow for a heart so deeply broken, a life so nearly destroyed, that I wanted to walk into the narrative and find some way to help alongside this giving family. Maybe that is the essence of Blindside’s power. It causes viewers to reflect on their own experiences with the less fortunate and ask themselves what they might do differently moving forward. As I looked into the big eyes of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), I saw also many of the young people that I influence every week. I measured again their need against what I might be called to do to help them.
If a sassy business lady from Memphis can take the time for Michael, then why can’t I make time for a young person in my city? This movie is about far more than football, or rags-to-riches, or gangland killings. It is about being willing to change your life to such an extent that a life of another might be given new hope. It’s kind of like being blindsided by love so that we might protect another from being blindsided by despair and hopelessness.
This movie is rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references. There is also occasional swearing. I do not recommend the movie for children under 13. I do recommend the movie to people who sense they may have become just a bit too comfortable in their bubble of affluent safety.