Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Based on the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael's skills. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.Written by
In real life, Michael Oher attended Briarcrest Christian High School. After reading the script, Briarcrest administrators decided not to allow the school's name to be used. They were particularly concerned about scenes that showed Briarcrest teachers expressing doubt about Oher's learning ability. The filmmakers still used Briarcrest's school color (green). See more »
When Leigh Anne is having lunch with her friends and they are discussing Michael's appearance on the Tuohys' Christmas card that year, the woman who says that Michael is a potential threat to Collins is wearing a large necklace made of gold medallions. The medallions change their positions as the camera angle changes back and forth from Leigh Anne's POV to the friend's POV. Sometimes they are lying across her throat in a flat position and at other times they are twisted slightly, changing back and forth from flat to twisted for no apparent reason. See more »
Leigh Anne Touhy:
There's a moment of orderly silence before a football play begins. Players are in position, linemen are frozen, and anything is possible. Then, like a traffic accident, stuff begins to randomly collide. From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bones, closer to 4 seconds than 5.
Leigh Anne Touhy:
One-mississippi - Joe Theismann, the Redskins quarterback takes the snap and hands-off to his running mate. Two-mississippi - it's a trick play, a flea-flicker. And the running back ...
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Family, school and sports photographs of the real Michael Oher and of the real Tuohy family are shown during the initial credits. See more »
I can see why Michael Oher was unhappy with this film
First of all, Quinton did a fine job in the lead role. Let's get that out of the way. Great acting job. He took the material he was given and played the role very well.
However, this film is pure Hollywood sap, a "feel good" movie that picks and chooses factual elements and builds a fictional tale around them. The film loves the character of Leigh Ann (who is really not that interesting, although she is kind hearted and generous), and as a result, Oher is relegated to a shy over-sized charity case with no clue and no skills of any sort, other than his natural kindness and resilient character. That strengthens the focus on Leigh Ann's rescue actions, how she "saved" this poor aimless kid and gave him all the life skills he needed to succeed on and off the football field. It resonates with white suburban do-gooder audiences, but it's just not accurate.
In truth, Michael Oher was already a very good football player when the Tuohy family took him in. And he had a bold, confident personality that rubbed off on everyone and made him a natural leader. He was a motivated, focused kid who knew what he wanted, but came from an environment where no one really cared or provided support. He was NOT a shy, introverted pathetic case. He just came from a terrible domestic environment and found stability with a nice rich family. The real story of Michael Oher is how he caught the luckiest of breaks and escaped the ghetto jungle and was able to leave all that soul crushing crap behind, and focus on academics and athletics in a completely different upper middle class environment. It's a study in how important environment is in the life of kids and teenagers, and how it can make a huge difference.
But what we, the audience, receive is a Hallmark channel film that is nothing more than a lazy, formulaic, fictionalized "warm your heart" chick flick couched in a football world. Sassy dialogue, woman-takes-charge scenes, tender moments, etc -- all the usual stuff is there. The film would have been FAR better had it focused on Oher as the lead character, instead of Bullock. No offense to Bullock, who is a fine actor.
It is well known that real life Michael Oher was very displeased with this film, and how it portrayed him.
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