Born into poverty in Memphis, Tennessee, teenager Michael Oher's (Quinton Aaron) life has been extremely turbulent. Having run away from a string of foster homes, the 17-year old finally finds some stability when a friend's father enrols him at a local Christian school, claiming that the young man is a gifted athlete. Black and physically powerful, Michael is extremely conspicuous in among the affluent white pupils, but makes a friend in young SJ Tuohy (Jae Head). When SJ's mother Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) sees Michael walking in the pouring rain wearing just a T-shirt and shorts, she invites him back to their sumptuous home for the night. Concerned about his welfare, the strong-minded interior designer asks Michael to stay, and he reluctantly agrees. As he slowly becomes an integral part of the family, the Tuohys pledge to help him get the grades he'll need to play football at college. With his poor educational background and dysfunctional upbringing, however, Michael will need the Tuohy's remarkable commitment to break the ties with his old life.
Based on the non-fiction book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis, this uplifting true story may be a little predictable, but only the grumpiest sports movie-haters will fail to get swept up in its more emotional moments.
Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of the feisty good Samaritan and her performance is certainly entertaining, if not unforgettable. The extremely naturalistic Aaron is equally worthy of praise, giving a wholly endearing performance, and there's also strong work from Bates as Michael's tutor, Miss Sue.
Admittedly, The Blind Side doesn't add much to the well-worn sports underdog genre, but it's a likably glossy and well-acted addition that's worth checking out just to see Bullock flexing her acting muscles.