The Blind Side (film)

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This article is about the 2009 feature film about an American football player. For other films of the same name, see The Blind Side.
The Blind Side
Blind side poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Produced by Broderick Johnson
Andrew Kosove
Gil Netter
Screenplay by John Lee Hancock
Based on The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game 
by Michael Lewis
Starring Sandra Bullock
Tim McGraw
Quinton Aaron
Kathy Bates
Music by Carter Burwell
Cinematography Alar Kivilo
Edited by Mark Livolsi
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 20, 2009 (2009-11-20)
Running time 129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $29 million[1]
Box office $309,208,309[1]

The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.[2][3] The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School (a fictional representation of Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee),[4] his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football, then finally becoming a first-round pick in the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens.

Sandra Bullock stars as Leigh Anne Tuohy, alongside Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy, and Kathy Bates as Miss Sue.[2] The movie also features appearances by several current and former NCAA coaches, including SEC coaches Houston Nutt and Ed Orgeron (Oher's coaches in college, though Nutt represented Arkansas at the time and therefore does so in the film) and Nick Saban (who was at LSU at the time and represents it in the film), former coaches Lou Holtz, Tommy Tuberville, Phillip Fulmer, as well as recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.[5]

The Blind Side was a box-office success, grossing over $300 million. The film was well received by critics, who praised Sandra Bullock's performance. Bullock went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. The film also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Plot[edit]

"The Blind Side" is based on the remarkable true story of Baltimore Ravens' offensive left tackle Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron). Michael grew up in the inner city housing projects with his mother in Memphis, Tennessee aptly named "Hurt Village." Michael's story begins with his being homeless and coming from a broken home with a drug-addicted mother, and an absentee father. Because of his family circumstances, Family Services took control of his life as he was growing up. Unfortunately, he was being bounced around in and out of foster homes, and now as a teenager he finds himself discarded by the people he has been living with. By a stroke of luck, and the coach's wish for a player the size of Michael, he ends up being enrolled in a private Christian school where the Tuohy kids go. Michael is a quiet person. He is shown to have a kind of childlike personality, because he tries to play with kindergarten children (Rachel St. Gelais) who reject or ignore him. Michael is befriended by S.J. Tuohy (Jae Head), the youngest Tuohy, whose connection to Michael starts the ball rolling.

Mike, having no money for food, lives by scrounging half-empty containers of snacks after school games, which Mr. Tuohy notices, after which he pays for a meal ticket for the boy. One icy winter night, as Michael is walking down the road to the school gym, where he has been sleeping; Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) with her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) and children S.J. and Collins (Lily Collins), pick Michael up and take him home for the night. However, when he tries to leave in the morning, Leigh Anne insists that he stay for dinner, and the children accept Michael matter-of-factly. Soon, Leigh Anne offers him a room and bed. As she starts offering him greater and greater favours, she begins to research Michael's records, including his career aptitude test results, where the only positive score was on protective instincts. Leigh Anne will use that to explain to him how to play in the field. Up to that moment, he wasn't able to get the hang of the game and its rules, and he wasn't able to understand what his role on the field was.

From that moment, Michael starts to play well and be useful to his team. At the traditional Christmas card photograph of that year, Leigh Anne invites him to appear in the family photo. Leigh Anne's friends Beth (Rhoda Griffs), Elaine (Eaddy Mays) and Sherry (Ashley LeConte Campbell) meet regularly at a local expensive restaurant. The friends laugh about Leigh Anne's "project in the projects," but she cuts them off, saying that if they don't respect what she does, she will stop seeing them.

An opportunity arises for Michael to play at university level. However, he needs his grades to improve, so the Tuohys hire a private tuition teacher, outspoken and kind Miss Sue (Kathy Bates), who is determined to succeed, because she, like Mrs. Tuohy, wants him to play for Ole Miss. During their Geography lesson, she makes a remark about University of Tennessee burying the body parts of dead people under their football field, which Michael seems to believe blindly. While he had been leaning toward Tennessee, this event decides him ultimately to sign on with Ole Miss.

There comes a moment when Leigh Anne wants to have a face-to-face conversation with Michael's mother (Adriane Lenox) to enable her to adopt Michael. Although she seems unresponsive in the beginning, the mother finally wishes Michael the best. She says that social services had branded Michael "a runner," and she forecasts that Leigh Anne will find one day that he has run away for good without giving any previous notice. Leigh Anne also faces some tough guys from the projects who had made ugly insinuations about her before. They are left speechless when she threatens them and is not afraid of them at all.

Many universities want Michael to play on their teams. Sean talks to the coaches, and leads the negotiations on Michael's behalf-- and his own. When Michael gets his grades high enough, he must make a decision, and he does. He chooses the university for which Sean had played, and where Leigh Anne had been a cheerleader. That causes Investigator Granger (Sharon Morris) to look into the matter before Michael arrives there. She questions him as though she were holding interrogatory precedings at a police station. She thinks that the Tuohys and Miss Sue are using Michael to benefit Ole Miss, their alma mater.

Michael runs away before the interview is over, and goes to find his birth mother. The leader of the tough guys welcomes him back to Hurt Village, offers him a beer, and insinuates that Michael has had sexual relations with Leigh Anne or her daughter. This rouses Michael's protective instincts, as the gang leader threatens to go after the two ladies himself. Michael shoves him into a wall, knocking his gun aside. After thinking and questioning Leigh Ann on the matter, Michael realizes that the Tuohys are now his family, and tells Granger that that's the reason he has chosen Ole Miss.

The film ends saying that he'll succeed and become a professional player later on. S.J in seen leading the players onto the gamefield with Michael before all local games. [6]

Cast[edit]

Bullock was acclaimed for her performance in the film, and as a result, won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2010

Coaches playing themselves[edit]

Production[edit]

The Blind Side was produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Warner Bros. According to Reuters, the film's production budget was $29 million. Filming for the school scenes took place at Atlanta International School and The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, and it features many of their students as extras. The film premiered on November 17 in New York City and New Orleans and opened in theaters on November 20 in the rest of the United States and in Canada.[7]

Academy Award winner Julia Roberts was originally offered Bullock's role, but turned it down.[8] Bullock initially turned down the starring role three times due to discomfort with portraying a devout Christian. By her own account, Bullock felt she couldn't objectively represent such a person's beliefs on screen.[9] But after a visit with the real Leigh Anne Tuohy, Bullock was not only won over, but also took a pay cut and agreed to receive a percentage of the profits instead.[10]

Reception[edit]

The film received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics, with Sandra Bullock's acting being critically acclaimed. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 66% based on 196 reviews, with a rating average of 6.1 out of 10. The site's general consensus is that "It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock."[11] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 53 based on 29 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

Box office[edit]

The Blind Side opened in 3,110 theaters on its opening weekend, the weekend of November 20, 2009. It grossed a strong $34,510,000 in its opening weekend, the second highest gross of that weekend, behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon. It was the highest-grossing opening weekend of Sandra Bullock's career. The per-theater average for The Blind Side's opening weekend was $11,096.[13] In its opening weekend, the movie already proved to be a financial success, having a budget of just $29,000,000. It proved to have remarkable staying power, taking in an additional $9.5 million, bringing its gross to $60,125,000 by the weekend of November 27, 2009.[14] The movie enjoyed a very rare greater success for the second weekend than it did in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $40 million, an increase of 18 percent, from November 27 to November 29, 2009, coming in second to New Moon once again, bringing its gross to $100,250,000.[1]

In its third weekend, the movie continued its trend of rare feats by moving up to the number one position with $20.4 million in sales after spending the previous two weekends in second place for a total gross of $128.8 million, due to strong word-of-mouth.[15] In its fourth weekend, it moved down to second place, dropping a slim 23% with an estimated $15.5 million for a total of $150.2 million in the United States and Canada as of December 13, 2009.[15] The film hit $200 million domestically on January 1, 2010, marking the first time a movie marketed with a sole actress' name above the title (Bullock's) has crossed the $200 million mark.[16] The Blind Side has also become the highest grossing football movie and sports drama of all time domestically [17][18] unadjusted for ticket inflation.[19] The Blind Side ended its domestic theatrical run on June 4, 2010 (nearly 7 months after it opened), earning a total of $255,959,475.[20] In the UK, The Blind Side was released on March 26, 2010.[21] It was the third biggest release of that weekend behind Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.[22]

Accolades[edit]

The Blind Side has earned numerous awards and nominations for the lead performance of the film's star, Sandra Bullock.

Awards and Nominations
Award Category Nominee Result
Academy Award Best Actress Sandra Bullock Won
Best Picture Film Nominated
Critics’ Choice Award Best Actress Sandra Bullock Won (tied with Meryl Streep)
ESPY Awards Best Sports Movie Film Won
Golden Globe Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Sandra Bullock Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Sandra Bullock Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Sandra Bullock Won
People's Choice Award Favorite Movie Actress Sandra Bullock Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Sandra Bullock Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2010 Favorite Drama Movie Film Won
Movie Actress – Drama Sandra Bullock Won
Breakout Male Actor Quinton Aaron Nominated

Best Picture nomination[edit]

The nomination of The Blind Side for Best Picture was considered a surprise, even to its producers.[23] In an attempt to revitalize interest surrounding the awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had upped the number of Best Picture nominees from a mandatory number of 5 to a mandatory 10 in time for the 82nd Academy Awards, the year The Blind Side was nominated.[24] In 2011 the Academy changed the policy: stating the Best Picture category would feature between five and ten nominees depending on voting results, as opposed to a set number of nominees.[24] The change was interpreted as a response to films like The Blind Side being nominated for Best Picture to fill up the set number of spots.[25][26]

Soundtrack[edit]

The movie features 23 songs by artists including Les Paul, Young MC, Lucy Woodward, The Books, Canned Heat, Five for Fighting, and film costar Tim McGraw.[27] However, while the score soundtrack by Carter Burwell was released on CD, none of the featured songs were included.

Home media[edit]

The Blind Side was released on DVD and Blu-ray March 23, 2010. The Blind Side was available exclusively for rental from Blockbuster for 28 days.[28]

Redbox and Netflix customers had to wait 28 days before they were able to rent the movie.[29][30] This stems from the settlement of a lawsuit brought by Redbox against Warner Home Video, who, in an attempt to boost DVD sales, refused to sell wholesale titles to Redbox. On August 19, 2009 Redbox sued Warner Home Video[31] to continue purchasing DVD titles at wholesale prices. On February 16, 2010, Redbox settled the lawsuit[30] and agreed to a 28-day window past the street date.

As of July 9, 2013, units sold for the DVD stand at more than 8.4 million copies and has grossed a further $107,962,159 adding to its total gross.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Blind Side Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Dave McNary (March 27, 2009). "Kathy Bates to star in 'Blind Side'". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Blind Side (2009)". Internet Movie Database. April 22, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  4. ^ Briarcrest opted out of feature role in 'The Blind Side' from CommercialAppeal.com
  5. ^ Schlabach, Mark (June 29, 2009). "Prominent coaches turn actors for film". ESPN. Retrieved July 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0878804/synopsis
  7. ^ The Blind Side – Release dates
  8. ^ Abramowitz, Rachel (December 16, 2009). "A Bonanza Year for Sandra Bullock". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ Swartzendruber, Jay (November 17, 2010). "Believers Walk the Talk in The Blind Side". Crosswalk.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sandra Bullock scores touchdown at box office" on Reuters.com
  11. ^ "The Blind Side (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  12. ^ "The Blind Side: Reviews (2009)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ Weekend Box Office Results for November 20–22, 2009 from Box Office Mojo
  14. ^ Daily Box Office for Thursday, November 26, 2009 from Box Office Mojo
  15. ^ a b "'Blind Side' tops 'New Moon' at box office" from Hollywood Reporter
  16. ^ "'Avatar' passes $300 million mark on Friday, and Sandra Bullock makes box-office history" from Hollywood Insider
  17. ^ Sports – Football Movies at the Box Office. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  18. ^ Sports Drama Movies at the Box Office. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  19. ^ Weekend Report: ‘Avatar’ Rocks New Year’s. Box Office Mojo (January 4, 2010). Retrieved on January 23, 2011.
  20. ^ End-of-Run Report: 'Blind Side,' 'Crazy Heart,' 'Runaways' Close. Box Office Mojo (June 6, 2010). Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  21. ^ "The Blind Side". Yahoo!. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  22. ^ Gant, Charles (March 30, 2010). "Nanny McPhee sends Alice in Wonderland to the naughty step at the UK box office". Film (London: The Guardian). Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  23. ^ Michael Cieply and Paula Schwartz, ‘Blind Side’ Finds a Path to the Oscars by Running Up the Middle, The New York Times, February 10, 2010, accessed February 4, 2014.
  24. ^ a b "82nd Academy Awards to Feature 10 Best Picture Nominees". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). June 24, 2009. Archived from the original on April 8, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  25. ^ David Karger, The Academy's new Best Picture rule: How it will change the prediction period, Entertainment Weekly, June 15, 2011, accessed February 4, 2014.
  26. ^ Nicole Sperling and Amy Kaufman, Oscars change rule for best-picture race, Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2011, accessed February 4, 2014.
  27. ^ Blind Side, The [2009] Soundtrack @ what-song. What-song.com. Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  28. ^ Panchuk, Kerri (March 19, 2010). "Blockbuster CEO: The movie's not over yet". 
  29. ^ Warner Bros. Home Entertainment And Netflix Announce New Agreements Covering Availability Of Dvds, Blu-Ray And Streaming Content. Netflix.mediaroom.com (January 6, 2010). Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  30. ^ a b redbox press room. redbox press room (February 16, 2010). Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  31. ^ redbox press room. redbox press room (August 19, 2009). Retrieved on January 23, 2011
  32. ^ The Blind Side – DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved on July 9, 2013

External links[edit]