An extremely popular Sandra Bullock film is moving up Hulu’s most-watched, sitting at #8, just in time for the start of the NFL season.
The Blind Side tells the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a young man who overcame a rough upbringing to not only excel in high school and college football but go on to be the first-round draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens.
Sandra Bullock delivers one of her more impressive performances as Leigh Anne Tuohy, wife to Sean (Tim McGraw), mother to Sean Jr. and Collins, and eventual mother to Oher (Quinton Aaron).
When we first see Michael Oher, he has already been in numerous foster homes due to his mother’s drug addiction. Each time he is placed in a new home, he runs away and back to his mom. This particular time, Michael is sleeping on the couch of his father’s friend, who reaches out to Burt Cotton, the football coach of Wingate Christian School, in an attempt to get his own son and Michael enrolled in the school.
As soon as Cotton sees Michael’s size, he is immediately intrigued and uses his pull to get him enrolled although Michael’s grades leave little to be desired. Immediately, though, Michael makes friends with Sean Jr. Not long after Michael is settled in at school, the staff informs him that his father died.
One night at Collins’ volleyball game, Sean sees Michael taking leftover food from the bleachers. Another night, Leigh Anne spots Michael walking alone on a street, unable to keep the cold away with his lack of proper clothing. She approaches him only to find out that he plans on sleeping outside the school gym. She offers him their couch.
The following morning, Leigh Anne awakes to Michael already leaving the house. She catches him down the street and asks him to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with her and her family. Slowly but surely, Michael becomes part of the Tuohy family, something that doesn’t sit well with Leigh Anne’s neighbors.
Leigh Anne ignores her neighbor’s warnings, instead asking Collins how she feels about having Michael as a brother. Collins is on board, saying they just can’t toss him out of the house.
So, Leigh Anne begins the process of trying to make Michael one of their own. She finds out that his grades are beyond poor but that his “protective instinct” score was off the charts. Football is in his nature, but he is hesitant to use his strength and power. It is only when Leigh Anne explains to him that, as an offensive lineman, his duty is to protect the quarterback, that Michael begins to do what comes naturally to him.
We all know how The Blind Side ends. It is a remarkable story, not only for the perseverance of Michael Oher but for the love the Tuohy’s showed the young man. Oher’s hard, dedicated work paid off the Tuohy’s dedication by pulling in grades good enough to get him into Old Miss (the Tuohy’s alma mater) and performing at such a high level on the football field that the Baltimore Ravens chose him with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft.
While Aaron’s performance as Oher was the heart of the story, Sandra Bullock was the straw that stirred the drink. Her performance, considered one of the best in her career, was noted for its strength as well as for its warmth.
As Leigh Anne, Sandra Bullock’s performance was rewarded with the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.
The film itself scored a Best Picture nomination, though it wasn’t without controversy. The first came, though while telling a true story, when the movie was saddled with a “white savior” narrative, claiming that Oher (a Black American male) is unable to overcome his impoverished upbringing without the help of his “white saviors.”
The second came from the real-life Michael Oher himself. Oher was very upset with how they portrayed his intelligence or lack thereof. As he wrote in his book, I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond, Oher said “I felt like it [the movie] portrayed me as dumb instead of as a kid who had never had consistent academic instruction and ended up thriving once he got it.”
Another point of contention for Oher was how the movie claimed he didn’t understand the game of football. Case in point, when the film shows his adoptive family teaching him the game, Michael claims, “No, that’s not me at all! I’ve been studying—really studying—the game since I was a kid!”
Although Michael Oher has specific issues with the film, overall, his takeaway is more positive than not. He is thankful and realizes that without the Tuohy’s, he wouldn’t have gotten to where he did and that his adoptive family taught him love and perseverance.
Sandra Bullock has either been very choosy about her roles or has decided to simply slow down. The Blind Side was released in 2009 and since that time, Bullock has only appeared in a handful of films; six to be exact.
Of those six, most received some great playtime and include The Heat, Gravity, Ocean’s Eight, and the Netflix bonanza, Bird Box. She also lent her voice to the animated feature, Minions.
It appears, though, that Sandra Bullock is ready to jump back into the Hollywood fast lane as she has three upcoming projects. One is an untitled film that she is working on with director Nora Fingscheidt. The other two projects are Bullet Train, co-starring with Brad Pitt, and Lost City of D that has Bullock again co-starring with Brad Pitt.
For now, if you’re in the mood to catch a case of the feels, check out Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side on Hulu.