I read the book this movie is based on (also called The Blind Side) a few months ago and really enjoyed it. The book, while discussing Michael Oher's story, also talks in depth about the development of the importance of the left tailback position in protecting the quarterback's blind side. I find that kind of thing pretty fascinating. In fact, I read a lot of sports nonfiction. As a woman, it's kind of nice to dream. Despite all of the advancements we've made as women, one thing I could never have done with my life, talented or not, was become a pro football player. So, I live vicariously through books about football. Another good one is John Feinstein's Next Man Up, where he followed the Baltimore Ravens around for a year. And terrible or not, I have to admit that I would not watch a women's NFL league, just as I don't like watching the WNBA.
At any rate, this was a movie I wanted to see in the theatre, but never got around to it, even though it was at the theatres for what felt like forever. So, as I tend to do, I waited for it to show up on cable. It wasn't surprising that I liked it a lot. It was also very difficult to not get teary eyed. Sandra Bullock was very good. I'm not sure about Oscar-worthy good, but I was happy she won an Oscar, because I think she (like most actors who tend to do comedies over gut wrenching dramas) is underrated as an actress. (I mean, Miss Congeniality has some of the most hilarious moments I've ever seen in a movie, all due to her comedic timing.) Seriously, why don't good comedic actors ever get Oscars for appearing in a comedy? Why does it always have to be a stupid drama?
Anyway. Michael Oher's story is very interesting when you stop to think about how his life should have turned out and the string of events that led him to the Touhys home, which in turn vaulted him into graduating from high school, getting a ton of college scholarship offers, and ultimately ended up in a first round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens. None of those things should have happened for him, given his situation. And there are plenty of young, black, talented althletes who grew up in a similar project-ridden and crappy situation who don't end up where he did, even though their childhoods mirror his, because they didn't have what he ended up having. But, there are also some who beat the odds and do. (Michael Vick, anyone?)
What strikes me most about the movie (and the book) is how important it is for a kid to have (1) a consistent place to sleep every night; (2) an adult taking in interest in their education; and (3) an adult taking an interest in them period. Michael Oher had none of these things before he moved in with the Touhys. I give them a lot of credit. Not many people would take in a 6'5" 300 pound black kid from the projects and essentially make him their son.
It totally is the ultimate of "feel good" stories. And it's true! I hear Michael Oher is releasing his own book to tell his side of the story, and the Touhys are also releasing a book about their side of the story, and I will probably also read those. (They were all interviewed for The Blind Side, but I guess they have more to say.) I read that Michael Oher was kind of upset that the movie portrayed him as "dumb," even though I didn't think it did. They clearly said in the movie that he was not dumb, that he just hadn't been given the tools to learn as a kid because he missed so much school. Mostly, though, I would like to read his book to find out what he is doing with all of the millions he is now making, and to find out whether he is supporting his mother or his 12 brothers and sisters in any way. I wonder.
I can't find anything on the Internet about that.