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:: The Blind Side

Now, y'all would guess that more often than not, the highest paid player on an NFL team is the quarterback. And you'd be right. What you probably don't know is that more often than not, the second highest paid player is, thanks to Lawrence Taylor, a left tackle. Because, as every housewife knows, the first check you write is for the mortgage, and the second is for the insurance. The left tackle's job is to protect the quarterback from what he can't see coming. To protect his blind side.

As so spoke Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) in The Blind Side.

Based on the extraordinary true story of American footballer Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) and the family that took him in, the Tuohys. Australian movie-goers don’t despair, for one can enjoy this movie if you have little to no knowledge of American football. A classic heart-warming story, the well-off Tuohy family takes in poor Oher from the side of the road one horribly clich√©, raining, wintery night. And thus begins the first day of the rest of his life.

The Tuohys get Oher into their exclusive private school; hire a tutor (Kathy Bates) when he needs to get his GPA (grade point average) up in order to obtain a scholarship; buy him an expensive truck; and, finally, allowing him his own bedroom: “I never had one before… A bed.” Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) accuses the Tuohys of pressuring Oher to play football for their former college – get the tissues ready for the outcome of that!

The interesting thing about this movie is the rest of the families’ reaction to Leigh Anne bringing in this new member: she is clearly the matriarch. They accept him without question and shuffle their lives to accommodate him. Slightly unrealistic at times (a gang of African-American young people in Oher’s rough, former neighbourhood intimidated by a Southern Belle in high heels, saying she has a gun?) but sweet and sugary at all times, this tale is truly a triumphant of determination, compassion and sacrifice.

One of the highlights of the film was, strangely enough, the credits – which included photos of the real Tuohy family and the real Michael Oher. Overall, this film was a fantastic portrayal of the human spirit in all kinds – those broken and those together. Bring tissues.