Michael Oher, a young man struggling to get by, has a chance encounter with the fortunate Tuohy family. Leigh Anne has always been a strong-willed woman but she sees Michael as a person who needs help. Taking him in, she gives him everything he never had. After he shows interest in football, the family does everything they can to help him succeed, including getting a tutor and providing additional training. Michael starts to succeed in the classroom but his status on the field keeps skyrocketing. As he continues to attract colleges, he struggles with being between two worlds. As much as he gets new opportunities to succeed in life, Leigh Anne goes through a major transformation as she learns about the life Michael has experienced and the world outside of her privileged bubble.
Starring: Quinton Aaron (Michael Oher), Sandra Bullock (Leigh Anne Tuohy), Tim McGraw (Sean Tuohy), Jae Head (SJ Tuohy), Lily Collins (Collins Tuohy), Kathy Bates (Miss Sue), Ray McKinnon (Coach Cotton), Kim Dickens (Mrs. Boswell), Adriane Lenox (Denise Oher), Catherine Dyer (Mrs. Smith), Sharon Morris (Investigator Granger)
As much as the story is about Michael Oher, Leigh Anne Tuohy is truly the lead of the film. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her phenomenal performance. If you watch the extra features, there is an interview with Bullock and the real Mrs. Tuohy, and it truly exhibits how well she adapted to Tuohy’s personality and mannerisms. While her performance was award-worthy, Quinton Aaron’s was as well. Aaron displays a quiet sorrow that changes to a quiet joy. What is also impressive is how he had minimal acting experience before getting the role. Jae Head plays the incredibly cute S.J. Tuohy, who seems to steal the show with his clever lines and big heart.
This inspiring sports story appeared during an excellent year of movies. While the story is about the life of Michael Oher, it honestly focuses more on the naive perceptions of the Tuohy family and Leigh Anne’s growth as a more multiculturally competent person. She never imagined that she would end up on the other side of town or that she would be the one who needed Michael to feel more whole with her good faith Christian morals. Leigh Anne attempts to give Michael everything that she believes he needs without ever really asking him what he wanted. Of course Michael asked for the new clothes and the opportunity to play football, but he did not originally identify that he wanted college or to play professionally. He was simply a young man who had a broken family, suffered quietly but had a purely good heart.
I really enjoyed this film as Aaron and Bullock gave excellent performances and I truly felt moved by the story. This is a must-see Oscar-worthy film.
Dan’s Rating: 5.0/5