Coach Cotton (Ray McKinnon) convinces board members of a small Christian private school in Memphis, Tennessee, to admit Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a gigantic African-American from the slums of the city. He knows that the boy can't play football unless his grades are up to snuff. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) is a feisty interior designer married to Sean (Tim McGaw), a laid-back fast food entrepreneur, and mother to Collins (Lily Collins), a pretty teenager, and SJ (Jae Head), a spunky little boy. Learning that Michael is homeless, she decides to do the right thing as a believing Christian and give him a place to stay.
Leigh Anne is a take-charge woman who immediately goes shopping with her new guest and buys him some clothes. At school, Michael is quiet and isolated from the other students who are all white. Although shy and tight-lipped, one of his teachers discovers that he is quite bright but unsure of himself. Michael just needs time. Living with the Tuohy family opens him up to new possibilities.
When this gentle giant finally shows up on the football field, the coach is shocked to see that he has no killer instinct. Little SJ takes charge of his training regimen and single-handedly tutors him in the essentials of the game. But it takes the wise counsel of Leigh Anne to connect with Michael's nurturing instincts. She says to him: "This team is your family and you have to protect them. Tony is your quarterback. You protect his blind side. When you look at him think of me."
Michael takes this message to heart and becomes a formidable left tackle. His aggressiveness and talent serves as a spur to the team who suddenly become winners. But to continue in the sport, Michael has to raise his grades and so the Tuohys hire him a tutor, Miss Sue (Kathy Bates). She shocks these proud NRA Republicans by telling them she is a Democrat. In addition to his grades, Michael faces one last hurdle to entry into big-time college football.
Writer and director John Lee Hancock (The Rookie) has adapted this true sports story from a book by Michael Lewis. Michael Oher now plays for the Baltimore Ravens and as we see in this inspirational story of his life, the source of his transformation is the love, appreciation, support, and counsel of his adoptive mother — Leigh Anne Tuohy. Sandra Bullock carries this film with her nuanced, emotionally powerful, and compelling performance. Her experience illustrates a key spiritual lesson: giving to others reverberates back to the giver, deepening and enriching her life. The film also challenges us redefine the meaning of family values.
The Blind Side is an unabashedly feel-good movie, and it deserves a large and attentive audience. Hancock again signals to us that engaging sports stories can deliver spiritual messages that speak to all of us.
Special features on the DVD include additional scenes.