Blind Side, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3

Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron, Lily Collins, Jae Head. Comedy/drama based on a true story. Written & directed by John Lee Hancock

FILM SYNOPSIS: The Blind Side depicts the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential.  At the same time, Oher’s presence in the Touhys’ lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome.  As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I don’t expect to hear this film’s title mentioned come awards season. It’s not cynical or profane, the leads aren’t dysfunctional, and what’s this, could many of the main characters actually be Christians? While the Motion Picture Academy may not find the film’s subject worthy of awards, audiences get a funny, sensitive and uplifting night at the cinema. And ain’t that what we care about?

Each cast member does a credible job, including Kathy Bates, who can sometimes play over-the-top. Here, she’s pitch perfect in a supporting role. The kids aren’t brats. The teenage girl doesn’t roll her eyes and hate her mother. And while the leads are caring people, they are not pious or pretentious. Hollywood may tolerate people of faith in film, but they haven’t been saluted since Tender Mercies. Here they are. In a subtle way, people of faith are portrayed as real and positive.

What’s more, the film has something to say. The real life Leigh Anne Tuohy has said, “I think Michael had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his. You take so much in life for granted, but when Michael moved in with us, he made us realize how blessed we are. We viewed life differently after he joined our family.”

Though the material isn’t handled darkly, it does deal with a troubling situation, the ignoring of the poor among us. Sean Tuohy offered, “Society often devalues human beings. Here’s this 6’6” incredibly athletic, undeniably intelligent, street savvy, book savvy kid, and he was probably four weeks from falling through the cracks. So if that can happen to him, imagine all the others who are left behind. We need to find a system that allows kids like Michael to succeed.”

Those involved in the production have a right to feel good about their work and hopeful about the future. This film will remind people that with just a little effort, we can make change. Both funny and uplifting, Blind Side is truly one of the best films of the year.

Note about the rating: The film receives a PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence (including a gun shot) and for drug and sexual references. We do not see drug use, but it is obvious that a couple of the youths in the bad part of town are trading in narcotics. Also, there are several expletives such as damn, hell and ass. I mention that because you might find it unsuitable for your children.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: A drug dealer from the ‘hood makes a few crude comments about the ladies; he eventually pays a price for his vulgarity.
Obscene Language: at least 2 slang terms for sex, 2 for female body parts; around 15 expletives, such as ass and hell; 1 S.O.B.
Profanity: 1 use each of "Good Lord," "Mother of God" and "Oh my God".
Violence: Football tackling, one incident portrayed led to serious injury; when a villain makes crude sexual remarks about the lead, Michael, well, he convinces the gansta that he shouldn’t do that no more.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Adults drink wine with meals.
Other: None
Running Time: 128 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)