The Blind Side was based on the life of Michael Oher a teenage African American boy whose mother was battling drug and alcohol addictions, in the projects of Memphis Tennessee. Mike as he is know in the movie was in foster care several times and always ran away to his Mother, thinking that no one could ever love him the way his Mother could, even with her ongoing addiction. Mike often slept at his fathers friends home, but even he could not give Mike the support that he desired. He would wash his clothes in the sink at the local laundry mat, and often had to steal food from the local gas station just to survive.
When his only caregiver whose couch Michael slept on every night took his own son to a private Christian school to try and get him scholarship to play basketball, the coach of the basketball and football team saw Michael playing and offered to try to get him a scholarship as well. Much to the dismay of the board Coach Cotton was able to convince them to accept Mike on scholarship. In his first few weeks of attendance at Wingate Christian School Mike walked and took the bus too and from school, until Thanksgiving night a family driving home from a school play saw Mike walking home in the rain with no coat.
This would be a major turning point for Michael’s feelings of never being wanted or loved. The Tuohys an upper class white family saw Michael walking and Leigh Ann demanded that her husband Sean pull the car over so she could go and talk to him. Over the next several weeks the Tuohy family offered Mike a place to sleep, new and clean clothes, and a family that cared for him the way a family should. The Tuohys had 2 other children S. J an adolescent boy with a love of football and Lily also know as Collins.
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When friends of the Tuohys found out that Michael was living with them they were so closed-minded that they said they were worried about Collins well being and safety. Leigh Anne then wanted Michael to become a permanent member of their family and obtained legal guardianship of Michael. It wasn’t until then that she learned of Michael’s poor grades and family situation. As they got to know Michael more and more they saw his potential and helped him make the football team, S. J was a key role, teaching Michael the ins and outs of everything football.
In his senior year Michaels greatness attracted the likeness of several different college football teams who wanted to offer Michael full football scholarships. They then realized that Michael had to get his GPA up in order to be able to attend college. The Tuohys then hired a private tutor Miss. Sue who shared a love for Ole Miss football just as big as their own. Miss. Sue helped Michael realize that he had potential for being great. During the courting between football teams, Michael had decided that he wanted to play for Ole Miss just as his adopted father had.
Michael would graduate and then become involved with the NCAA investigation, where the NCAA would question his reasoning to attend Ole Miss because of donations that were given by the Tuohys over the years. In the end Michael and Miss Sue would both be attending Ole Miss, Miss. Sue as his own personal tutor. Michael Oher would then go on to be drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the draft. The film The Blind Side was both based on a true story, and also a book that was written by Michael Lewis in 2006. The movie was released in 2009 and quickly became a hit and an inspiration to foster children around the country.
According to Michael Oher, the movie was not completely as it happened, for example S. J didn’t have to teach him the ins and outs of football, he knew everything about football before he came to live with the Tuohys. But for the most part the movie was accurate over all. In one scene Leigh Anne was having lunch with her friends at a high-end restaurant, her friends questioned her reasoning for taking Michael in with racial undertones, and inappropriate comments. I have personally been to the Deep South and the Midwest seems to fit this role better, snooty over privileged white women with a chip on their shoulder.
I feel as if this scene would have been more historically accurate 20 years ago, but there are racially insensitive people all over, some just hide their insensitiveness better than others. Another scene was where in Michael’s first football game, the referees only threw flags on plays that he made, when there was no reason for a flag to be thrown. This I feel is very accurate historically, football and the South are hand in hand, and anything out of the ordinary or anything that threatens a team will not go overlooked by anyone.
The referees most likely felt that Michael had an advantage over the other players just because he was African American, not knowing that a few weeks prior Michael couldn’t even tackle another player, and still had to think that the person he was to tackle was a threat to his family. After reading different reviews from this film, I’ve chosen two different reviews one from the Washington Post and the other from Variety. Each review gives the movie at least 3 out of 4 stars but for different reasons. Firstly the WashingtonPost. om, they gave the movie 3 out of 4 starts, but open the review with a very negative view of the advertisements for the movie “There’s been something off-putting about the ad campaign for “The Blind Side,” a drama about a white woman who adopts an African American high school student, from trailers trafficking in nearly every troubling African American stereotype in movies (from the Magical Negro to the surly low-level bureaucrat), to posters featuring the patronizing image of Sandra Bullock gently leading her looming, gentle giant of a son down a football field. The Washington Post feels that The Blind Side does a good job of depicting Oher’s good fortunes and the Tuohys ability to cross-racial boundaries in the Deep South. The next review from Variety. com only saw the good aspects of the movie and gave it 4 out of 4 stars. “It’s difficult to imagine anything that could long impede or contain the force of nature that is Leigh Anne Tuohy, the feisty Memphis belle played by Bullock with equal measures of acerbic sass, steel-willed brass and unabashed sentiment.
Bullock is thoroughly convincing in the role — right down to her credible accent and the blonding of her normally brown tresses — and she’s not afraid to occasionally keep auds guessing as to whether Leigh Ann’s actions are driven by a heart of gold or a whim of iron. ” Variety sees Leigh Anne as a loving foster/adoptive mother, who despite her social status and her seemingly tough exterior finds it in her heart to take Michael in and accept him as one of her own.
The only negative comment they have about this film is that it seems as if nothing could ever go wrong until the final part of the movie, I suppose they saw this as being slightly overly optimistic in a world filled with pessimists. This film is a perfect choice as it relates so much to this class, not only does it cover racism but also it shows that those boundaries can be thrown out completely. A white upper class family who takes in an African American boy seems like something that would be straight out of a book; to cross such a deep seeded line took courage and determination on the part of the Tuohy family.
They were proud of what they did and who Michael was/is as a person and didn’t choose to see him as a color but as a teenage boy who needed help, their help. If ever there was a story of over coming ones background this is it. This movie is a great way to show children that people are people no matter the color of their skin, and that everyone should have a family who cares for them no matter what. This would actually be a great section to have in the textbook about transcending racial barriers, and over coming stereotypes, and it’s a true story to top it off.
Both my wife and I watched this movie and on several occasions we both welled up, it’s one of those movies that just make you feel good, and make you want to do good. There were several scenes that made this movie great and choosing just a couple of them has taken careful deliberation on my part. The first scene that really hit me the hardest was when Big Mike was walking down a dark raining street and the Tuohys were driving home from the play on Thanksgiving, they saw him without a coat walking in the cold.
Leigh Anne told her husband to stop the car and she got out to ask him where he was going and if he had a place to stay, after figuring out that he was homeless she told him to get in the car and that he was coming with them. I know there are some many kids out there whose parents simply don’t care about them and they have to raise themselves, but seeing it and knowing it are two different things. I can honestly say that if I was in this situation I would have done the same thing and I know that my wife would make sure I did.
The next scene is at the end of the movie when they brought Michael to Ole Miss to start his first semester of college, Leigh Anne was too strong to ask Michael for a hug, and she didn’t want him to see her cry so she gave him a nod and a slight side hug and told everyone to say their goodbyes and she walked back to their car, Michael then looked at Sean and asked him what was the matter, he replied “She’s like an onion you have to peal back her layers slowly”.
Hearing this Michael then walked over to the car and said to her “Momma, I need a proper hug. ”. This is the one scene that got me to well up, I know how it feels to want to show a softer side but not have the courage to show it. I face this on a daily basis with my two sons, so to see someone being so exposed and vulnerable was a perfect way to end this movie. I really do think that this movie is a perfect learning tool for children to show them that color is just something your eyes see, it has nothing to do with what’s on the inside.
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