‘The Blind Side’ moves beyond the sports field to please

November 19th, 2009

People only dream of stories like the one told in “The Blind Side.” They’re usually fictional stories. They’re passed down as myths for generations. Yet, only in the wildest dreams would such a story be true.

The story of Baltimore Raven’s offensive linemen Michael Oher, played by Quiton Aaron, illustrates mankind’s ability to step out of society’s norm to perform an act of kindness. The story about the adolescent life of Oher takes place in the slums of Memphis, Tenn.

From early on Oher was a nomad. He would jump from house to house after he was taken from his mother early on because she wasn’t seen fit to take care of him.

“Big Mike,” as they called him through the duration of the movie, was depicted as a gentle giant, but someone who wasn’t competent enough to make it through high school.

The feel-good part of the story comes when Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock, comes to the rescue and gives Oher a home for a night. It turns into a lifetime. The Tuohys are a wealthy, white-collar family who own a large chain of fast-food restaurants around the country.

The movie chronicles Oher’s journey from when he is first accepted into the all-white, Briarcrest Christian high school and is immediately seen as a misfit.

The remarkable part of the story and movie is Oher’s ability to deal with adversity and overcome the social obstacles thrown in his way because of his size and color.

Although the film is about his path from high school football to the National Football League, it goes far beyond.

A major theme of the movie is seen in its title, “The Blind Side.” A major turning point of the movie came when one of Oher’s gangster friends threatened his pseudo-mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy, and the rest of the family. Mike protected his family’s blind side and deterred the gangsters from harming the Tuohys.

Oher’s relationship with the youngest Tuohy, S.J., played by Jae Head, adds humor to the movie. A five-foot, skinny grammar school kid training and hanging out with a six-foot, six-inch, 300-pound offensive linemen adds comical relief in the most dramatic spots of the movie.

“The Blind Side” began with Oher’s ability to protect those close to him, and it ended with him protecting the blind side of his quarterback.

Sandra Bullock gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the tough, redneck, southern belle that initiates the relationship with Oher.

Her on-screen performance adds another dimension to the movie, making it dynamic and multi-faceted.

Director John Lee Hancock does a reasonable job balancing Oher’s football career and his personal life. Telling enough of both in order for the audience to understand the challenges he faced growing up.

Rookie performers Tim McGraw and Lily Collins add good supporting roles to the movie, complimenting both leads while giving more depth.

“The Blind Side” opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow, Nov. 20.