28th Nov, 2009

Without Vision – The Blind Side

The Blind Side was an interesting movie for me. I am typically not much of a movie reviewer or critic because I watch a movie to be entertained. I notice when a movie has an excellent message and love to use movie portrayals as teaching points, but that is usually the end of my analysis.

With The Blind Side, however, I came away intrigued by my reaction. I was generally entertained by the movie, but I was intuitively disappointed when it ended. And I immediately knew why.

The movie wasn’t about Michael Oher. The movie didn’t present some great moral theme. In fact, it felt like the movie intentionally left out many opportunities to inspire. With the exception of one scene where Sandra Bullock told off a few wealthy, prejudiced women, the movie left this viewer feeling like the main thing I could take away from the film was that Sandra Bullock could still turn heads and that she did a good job of playing the controlling, wealthy Southern woman in a funny and likeable way. I really felt like the movie was mostly about Sandra Bullock.

So, if you enjoy Miss Bullock and you want to be entertained for a couple of hours, watch the movie. But if you expect to see a compelling presentation about racial issues, the needs of the homeless, adoption, the excess of the sports industry, a story of inspirational overcoming, or any of the many social issues The Blind Side could have addressed, you will be disappointed. I’d recommend you read a great book like The Same Kind of Different As Me instead. It is highly unusual for any “based-on-a-true-story” flick not to inspire.

If you had a different reaction or saw more in the movie, I’d love to hear about it.


I ditto that about The Same Kind of Different As Me. It is the best book I’ve read in a couple of years.

Interesting. You may be the first person I have met who didn’t like the movie. We went and saw it last weekend and loved it. I think for both of us, it was the heart of the movie, that relationship between Leigh Anne and Michael, that tugged at our heart. Now, I am sure Mark noticed it was Sandra Bullock…he has always liked her. But that is not who I saw. I saw the story (which I had read before in a magazine) of two people who saw a need and met it though I know it rocked the world of those around them. I saw people trying to figure out what makes each other tick which was so much of our first two years with Maria. I was infuriated when the NCAA investigation occurred because I didn’t see any kind of wrongdoing. I saw parents and their son making a decision that parents and kids make every day…there never would have been any kind of investigation had it been a “natural born” son. (Not to mention, they took him in when he wasn’t playing any sport at all, it wasn’t like they decided to take him into the family after he became a star) I saw those new sibling relationships develop when as a parent you wonder what they will think when you bring home someone new. (I read several biographies and interviews with the family and Michael later and loved to read that Michael and Collins still share a strong bond.) I saw a family who lived out a call to love their neighbor (even one on the wrong side of the tracks) as themselves even if I don’t know they even realized they were doing it at the time. I saw love. Unconditional love.

I think if you know the story and you have read all of that behind the scenes you might see all of that. I just thought the movie failed to deliver that. For me.

Also, I didn’t say I didn’t like the movie. I did. For entertainment. But not as an inspirational movie based on a true story. For that, for me, it was disappointing. Titans did way more. Hoosiers. Rudy. Lean on Me. And so many others.

Like I said, i rarely write opinion like this, because I’m not trying to be divisive or argue. I’m glad you saw all of that and loved the movie. I just long for more movies that truly point people to Kingdom values like Amazing Grace. I wish I would have seen Sandra Bullock change more through the movie. I think she was closer to inspirational in the movie when she first took him in than later in the movie. I didn’t see her grow. Again, in the movie… not in the real life story.

Rebs, thanks for writing, and being willing to disagree! I really enjoy hearing how others think and am glad to hear that we think differently!

Michael Oher’s story reminds me of Susan Boyle’s. Do you remember her? She was the amazing singer who blew everyone away last year on “Britain’s Got Talent”.

They both were misjudged for much of their lives based on appearances until given the chance to shine. They are also both people of great Christian faith.

I just found out that the TV Guide Channel is having an exclusive special on her December 13. I found the link for it here: http://www.tvguide.com/special/susan-boyle/

I was so inspired by “The Blind Side” and I hope to have a similarly uplifting experience watching Susan’s special.

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