I'm late to the party, but that doesn't mean I can't wear the biggest lampshade in the room when it comes to THE BLIND SIDE, Sandra Bullock's new movie.
I don't think there is a parent who's heart won't heave at this story: "Big Mike," Michael Oher, is a homeless kid who is given an opportunity to get out of a Memphis, Tennessee ghetto on a scholarship to private prep school, and rises to prominence as a left tackle for the Ole Miss football team before becoming the current left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.
The story revolves around his life as a homeless student: his teachers and the faculty don't know is that he has no place to live. His potential, seen by one teacher, is obscured to everyone else because he has never learned the skills to study.
A couple with children at the school — Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy — take Micheal under their wing, moving him into their home and raising him. Bullock's character, the glossy brittle Leigh Anne, is a Steel Magnolia with a Moonpie-marshmallow middle: she takes no guff from anyone, be it Michael's football coach or the gangstas in Micheal's former 'hood.
I grew up in the South and know women many like Leigh Anne. They are colorblind, and they embody the term "right makes might." Social dictates don't stand a chance against what they know to be their Christian duty . . .
And we are all the better because if it.
One of the final scenes in the movie is a voice over in which Leigh Anne talks about those headlines we've all see: about other boys, just as talented as Michael, whose lives have been cut short by a bullet…
Because they weren't as lucky.
No one was there to help them out of their ghetto.
If only we all had Leigh Anne's gumption: to take just one lonely, lost child into our care, and help them flourish.
Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press
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