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PCR #504 (Vol. 10, No. 47). This edition is for the week of November 16--22, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Blind Side "

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron and Tim McGraw
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 8 mins

This past April, thanks to a trade with the New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens made Michael Oher the 23rd player chosen in the NFL Draft.

Memphis. 2002. A father escorts his son to meet the head coach and activity director of a private high school. His boy is quite the basketball player and he’s hoping those skills will help him get a quality education. But he has one stipulation. If they admit his son they must admit his friend, who has been sleeping on their couch. They call him Big Mike.

A story that proves love is color blind, “The Blind Side” tells the impossible to believe but true story of Michael Oher and his adoptive family, Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy. Sean is a former Ole Miss basketball star who has made his fortune by amassing dozens of fast food locations. Leigh Anne is a ball of fire, a true southern woman who will never accept no as an answer. Michael’s mother is a crack addict and the boy has been subsisting on his wits for both food and shelter. One night during a rain storm the Touhy’s pass Michael walking along the road. They stop and take him to their home to stay the night. One night becomes two. Two becomes a week. Michael moves from the sofa to his own room, finally experiencing something he had before….his own bed. As a student, his grades improve enough for him to play football. But despite his size (6’6”, 300 pounds) he’s not very good. After a particularly bad practice Leigh Anne takes Michael aside and instills in him that the football team is like his family. And the quarterback is like her. “What would you do,” she asks, “if someone was trying to hurt me?” Problem solved.

“The Blind Side” is a combination of great acting, subtle directing and a heart warming story made even more endearing because it’s true. Sandra Bullock has been around for 20 years, surviving mostly on “cute” romantic comedies and the occasional well done supporting role (“A Time To Kill,” “Infamous). As Leigh Anne Touhy she easily channels all the spunk and determination the real Leigh Anne possesses, assisting not only with her real family but with the one she builds with Michael. It is easily Bullocks best performance over a career that spans two decades. The supporting cast is just as good, with Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron earning special mention. As Sean Touhy, McGraw gives the story its weight. In what could have been a standard, hokey movie of the week, the relationship between Sean and Leigh Anne feels real which makes the film feel real. Aaron is flawless as Big Mike. He plays him as a true gentle giant, his eyes reading the world he lives in without a trace of emotion. Almost stealing the film is Jae Head, as little S.J. Touhy. Once the college coaches come calling, it is up to them to package the best deal to satisfy S.J. Even when an investigation by the NCAA, who become suspicious of the Touhy’s good deeds, fails to amount to anything, it’s S.J. that keeps the ball rolling and the offers coming. Director Hancock, who scored so beautifully with “The Rookie” lends a strong but controlling hand on the project, guiding it toward it’s inevitable, but happy, ending.

This past April, thanks to a mother’s love, the Baltimore Ravens made Michael Oher the 23rd player chosen in the NFL Draft. And the rest, as they say, is history.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “The Blind Side”


This week's movie review of "The Blind Side " is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.