Monday, December 21, 2009

The Blind Side: an affirmation of faith (and football)

The Blind Side © 2009 Alcon Film Fund, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Blind Side is the shocking portrayal of a contemporary Southern, white, conservative, Republican, Christian, SEC football-lovin', traditional family, the Tuohys, who befriend Michael, a homeless African American high schooler and enable his remarkable journey from poverty to fame.

It is shocking because it portrays this family as wealthy, educated, gracious, compassionate, moral, generous, loyal, sincere, courageous, and kind, instead of in the usual negative stereotypes portrayed by Hollywood and the mainstream media (e.g., their portrayal of Sarah Palin). As movie reviewer for the liberal StarTribune, Colin Covert, remarked, "The Tuohys are the sort of family that would fight a tax hike for idealistic social programs, but see their Christian duty to do right by Michael. Films don't show us compassionate conservatives like this very often, and I was happy to meet them."

The film is all the more powerful because it is based on the true story of Michael Oher, who played for Ole Miss and was recently signed by the NFL Baltimore Ravens. This makes the film a legitimate entrypoint into dinner-table and classroom discussions about race and faith.

While avoiding syrupy sentimentalism, the film is an entertainment, not a documentary. It tells Oher's remarkable story from the point of view of Leigh Ann Touhy, whom Covert calls "a steel magnolia whose conservative certitude and indomitable willpower make Sarah Palin look lily-livered. The highway department has bulldozers that are not as pushy." As such, it's a vehicle for star Sandra Bullock, who is rapidly accumulating rave reviews and award nominations for a career-best (and according to Leigh Ann Touhy's real-life husband and friends, spot-on) performance.

The Blind Side is a wonderful choice for holiday movie-going, and a celebration of real-life conservative values and Christian faith.

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. present a film by John Lee Hancock, The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and Quinton Aaron as Michael Tuohy. Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references. Official web site:

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