Inspiring story makes ‘The Blind Side’ a must see

by Kati HerrStaff Writer

Looking for a movie that will make you laugh, cry, cheer and never once make you want to look at your watch? “The Blind Side” is based on the true story of a current Baltimore Ravens Offensive Tackle from Mississippi. Standing at 6’4″ and 310 pounds, NFL rookie Michael Oher comes from the projects of Tennessee. His story is unique and demonstrates the true essence of southern and Christian hospitality.

Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by a compelling Sandra Bullock, is a well-off southern woman living in Memphis with her husband Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw), owner of a large food chain. The children, S.J. and Collins Tuohy (Jae Head and Lily Collins) are attending a private Christian school in Memphis when the family discovers the lost, poor and uneducated Oher (Quinton Aaron). A stubborn Leigh Anne invites Michael, known by school children as “Big Mike,” into their home, offering him clothes, food and shelter.

Big Mike has a grade point average of less than 0.9 when he starts at Wingate Christian School. Little is known about his background other than his poor economic state when Leigh Anne first encounters him. He is intimidating in size but timid in character and while his scores are lower than 90 percent of children his age in all other areas, he scores higher than 98 percent in protective instincts. Coaches soon notice that this big teddy bear from the projects will do anything to protect the ones he loves. In order to apply these instincts to a sport like football, all he needs is the right motivation. This motivation comes from Leigh Anne.

Bullock is as convincing as a hardheaded southern woman as she was a high-strung FBI agent in “Miss Congeniality.” Since she is portraying a real person, Bullock has the challenge of representing all the distinctive characteristics of Leigh Anne Tuohy. This is no problem for Bullock as she realistically displays the public and private aspects of Leigh Anne’s personality and physique.

Aaron also has a masterful performance as the young Oher. Oher is described in the movie as being like an onion: you have to peel back the layers to get to his core. This description comes alive in Aaron’s performance with everything from the actor’s facial expressions to his timid movements and tone of voice.

Pain, fear and joy consume the audience in each scene as Aaron demonstrates the true essence of Oher’s struggle and success.

Other notable performances are from Head as S.J. Tuohy and Collins as Collins Tuohy. S.J. is a fiery youngster who acts as Oher’s training coach, recruitment negotiator and, most importantly, his brother and best friend. Head particularly captures the spark-plug personality of S.J. as his character interacts with the university football coaches and with Oher. Collins Tuohy’s caring personality is evident in Lily Collin’s performance as the actress closely resembles her character in looks and temperament and performs her contributing role with superior expression.

“The Blind Side” is a gripping tale of courage and generosity performed by a cast of top-quality actors. Its plot alone is enough to highly commend “The Blind Side” as a must-see, and the compelling performances of Bullock, Aaron and others only contribute to that opinion.