Thursday, December 10, 2009

'The Blind Side' Opens Eyes

By: Jamie Hoag
Jen Redell

“This team is your family, Michael. You have to protect them.” This line spoken by Leigh Ann Touhy, played by Sandra Bullock in the movie The Blind Side, emphasizes the importance of family and relationships in this film.

The movie, starring country music artist Tim McGraw, as well as Sandra Bullock and Kathy Bates, is based on a true story about current Baltimore Raven’s star, Michael Oher. It is also based on Michael Lewis’ book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, which involves performances and inspiring football scenes. Its multifaceted genre lends itself to be a film that a variety of people can enjoy.

In the opening scene, viewers are exposed to a scene of National Football League (NFL) coverage from nearly twenty-four years ago. The footage depicted a scene from a Monday night football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. In one single play, the future of one famous football star, Joe Theismann, was altered forever. His career permanently ended that night. This piece of NFL history provides context for the storyline of The Blind Side.

The audience identifies from the NFL clip that had someone stepped up to protect Theismann that night, the results of that night would have been drastically different. This realization helps put the rest of the movie into understanding.

After the Touhy family attends a high school volleyball game for their daughter, they spot a child walking down the cold and dark streets alone. When inquiring about who the man is, the son of the Touhy family, played by Jae Head, points out that everyone at school calls this kid “Big Mike.”

Throughout the rest of the movie, the family offers “Big Mike,” who reveals he likes the name Michael, a life that he has never known, and in return Michael changes their lives forever. The Touhys offer Michael a roof over his head, food on his table, money and support for college, and unending love. Michael changes the heart of each Touhy family member by living a selfless, humble life to the best of his ability, despite his unfortunate childhood of orphanage living and absent parents. Through him, the family realizes the value and importance of helping others out and loving the unloved.

After the final scene of the movie, as the credits start to roll, there are real pictures displayed of the real Michael Oher and his adopted family. They also showed a clip of Michael Oher being drafted into the NFL in 2009. Oher was the 23rd first-round draft pick.

Although this was life impacting for Michael it also helped change the Touhys life. There are many different challenges that Michael and the Touhys conquer together. As Michael became a student and football player, his coach, adopted family, and friends helped him become the man he always wanted to be.

Here’s what some of the top critics have to say. The Los Angeles Times, Betsy Sharkey says, “ Watching The Blind Side is like watching your favorite football team; you’ll cheer when things go well, curse when they don’t, and be reminded that in football, as in life, it’s how you play the game that counts – though winning doesn’t hurt, either.” USA Today, Claudia Puig says, “It’s even more powerful when we learn that he now plays in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens.”

Don’t pass up an opportunity to see the movie, The Blind Side. It has already produced $40.1 million and to most critics is a 7 out of 10. So if you need a break before finals go see the movie The Blind Side. You won’t be disappointed!

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