Monday, November 23, 2009

Must See Movie: "Blind Side"

After all the hype and the predictions that Sandra Bullock would be nominated for an Oscar for her performance in "Blind Side," we saw the movie anyway (don't trust hype) and it wowed us. This is based on the true story of Michael Oher, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, which makes the story even more poignant. I read today that Oher objects to the fact that the book and movie portray him as unintelligent. Actually he was uneducated, a very different thing, but this is really his story and one that should be heard.

Michael was born to a crack addict who wasn't even certain who his father was. He was taken away from her at the age of seven and lost touch with his brothers as he was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Finally a good-hearted man who had let Michael sleep on his couch talked to a coach at a Christian school who got him admitted, and thus out of the projects. At that point he was a 6'5" giant of a young black man.

His life turned around when a wealthy white family took him in, bought him clothes, hired a tutor to help him catch up academically and, most important, loved him. The scenes where he is learning how to play football are really funny. His new family includes a teenage girl and her young brother. The boy nearly steals the show. When they give him a room with a bed, he says matter-of-factly that he never had a bed before. Yet this man who has such good reason to be angry isn't. He doesn't dwell on the past; he's happy and grateful to his new family.

He graduated from Ole Miss and was drafted by the Ravens. His family is very proud of what he's accomplished, and he relates that when the wonderful white woman who took him in told him she loved him when he was 18 years old, that was the first time anyone had ever said that to him.

This movie is heartwarming, funny, and wise. If it doesn't put you in the proper frame of mind for the holidays, you should get yourself to a hospital STAT - you don't have a heart.

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