Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock is actually in a movie that matters. It has been a while, ever since A Time to Kill which was also a southern movie. I think that was Memphis as well to.

This movie begins with two black guys being delivered to a rich private Christian school in a magnificent Memphis neighborhood. It is probably Germantown since my cousin lives there and I have been there. Quinton Aaron plays Michael Oher and he is the one of the kids that needs to attend a school. Not only does he not have a school, he apparently does not have a home. I do not understand who the black adult man is. He is never shown again that I could see. The other kid is never shown again either, he is smaller and academically sound. Michael is a far cry from that. His test scores are horrific but the football coach, Coach Cotton played by Ray McKinnon, sees an athletic future in this large, quick footed young man so he persuades the administrative decision makers to make this acception.

Michael begins school but he is years behind his fellow students and the teachers quickly realize this. Things change though when one teacher figures out he can deliver test information verbally. So his quizzes and tests from then on are oral. Michael helps clean up the school but this is what I am not sure about. Where does he live? This adult black male drives his son and Michael to this school but does not ever mention Michael needs a home. Does not arrange him to stay at a foster home? Does allow him to enter his home?

This is where Sandra Bullock enters the fray. She is Leigh Anne Touhy and she knows Michael from the school since she has seen him talk to her youngest son. He is S.J. Tuohy who is played by Jae Head. S.J. takes to Michael instantly. The Touhy's see Michael walking in the rain. Leigh orders her husband to stop the car and she walks out in the rain to have a heart to heart discussion with Michael. Michael informs her he is going to the gym but the gym is closed at night and at that time. Leigh realizes he does not have a home. Well, this can not be helping his homework and grade improvement prospects that is for sure.

So the Tuohy's just invite him in for he night. Michael is the most gentle soul and that night turns into several. He was about to leave the following morning after folding the blankets lake furniture store professional. Leigh persuades him to stick around though and share the day with them. Soon, Thanksgiving roles around and Michael has never had a meal that fulfilling and plentiful.

Tim McGraw stars in this movie. Though spending time with Sandra Bullock is a downrade from Faith Hill, I guess he decided to make a little extra money. What the heck. This is a semis high school football movie. To me, McGraw starred in the best High School Football this country has ever seen-Friday Night Lights was just sensational. McGraw was a husband in this solid movie, he is Sean Tuohy and the principal breadwinner. He owns several fast food restaurants, Taco Bell and KFC and what not. Leigh has a interior decorator business of some sort. They are well off.

Leigh helps get Michael his driver's license. She feeds him, buys him clothes, sets some of her friends straight over him, she helps him with his homework, etc. She is his MVP.

The Tuohy's buy him a black pick up truck. Michael is ecstatic but I think this is going a little bit too far. He has not shown a lot of responsibility in his life. Buying him a $25000 truck is a bit of a stretch. They have already shown their Christianity in the best way. They have taken him in and probably saved him from a future of darkness. Michael only wanted his DL for ID purposes. A few days later, S.J. pleads with his mother to allow Michael and him drive to the video game store to buy the new Madden football game. With Michael that far behind school, I would think video games would be far down on the list. How about learning how to type, use the Internet, reading some basic high school level novels, etc.? OK, he wants to have a little fun, I can see that.

On the way to the store, Michael and S.J. and singing a song and Michael is not paying close enough attention to the road. A flat bed pick up truck pulls out in front of them and a collision ensues. Leight is called and rushes to the scene. The ambulance or firefighter service worker is explaining to Leigh that S.J. is really lucky not have a broken neck because of his size. He should have been in the rear seat, the airbag is too powerful for someone of his small frame. He is just a child. Michael is distraught, not believing what he allowed to happen. It could have been exponentially worse. It is later revealed that Michael's strength prevented the airbag from bringing the full force onto S.J. upper torso. Michael's cuts on his right arm prove this.

The family enjoys having him around. Lily Collins is Collins Tuohy, their teenage daughter. She takes some heat at school from some of the punks because Michael is living with her and them but she handles it with maturity.

Michael is given the chance to practice with the football team in the spring. The football coach that put his full weight to allow Michael to be accepted is not the best communicator. Michael does not react well to being hollered at. Leigh goes onto the field, during one practice session, and explains to Michael what his role is as a left tackle. This helps briefly but he is still unprepared to play such a simple position-left tackle-by the time the first game roles around during the following fall. But after looking pretty bad in the first couple of possessions, Michael's game rapidly improves. His stock soars, and he becomes an All American. He plays big time college football and eventually is drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. I am sure Ray Lewis will like having him around.

This is solid movie. It is a movie of many different facets. This movie contains the concepts of faith, communication, values, kindness, societal classes, and much more. It is certainly a supreme Bullock movie who typically makes the most useless movies. But her southern charm and attitude in this movie is amazing. She carries this movie, along with Big Mike, oh I mean Michael. This movie has a lot of reality to it.

I allocate this movie four stars.****

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