Friday, November 6, 2009

The Blind Side

Kelly recently wrote about reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. I commented back to her that it is one of my top five all-time favorite books and one of the few to which a movie actually did justice. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch -- well, there's just no comparison.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about a movie that will be coming out in just a couple of weeks, The Blind Side. I am greatly anticipating the movie because I absolutely loved the book by Michael Lewis, which I read last year. The movie will include such notables as Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw (bless his heart, someone told him he could act and he believed it) and Kathy Bates.

The book has two different agendas. It relates the development of the left tackle position in football and, as a parallel, tells the amazing story of Michael Oher who, as an African-American teenager, was picked up off the streets of Memphis, Tennessee by an affluent middle aged white woman who took him home. She and her husband sent him to a private Christian high school where he enrolled in football, became a left tackle and was almost immediately sought after by Division I football coaches across the country.

The Memphis couple eventually adopted him. He ended up going to their alma mater, Ole Miss, and he was a top NFL draft pick last spring, going to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round.

As I said, I am greatly anticipating the movie, but also dreading it a bit. I dread it because so many times movies are nowhere near as good as the books on which they are based. This was such a good story and it will not make me happy if the movie messes it up.

There is a lot of technical stuff in the book that, if one is not a football fan, might become tedious. I passed it on to a guy friend of mine who loved it. He passed it on to his wife who just couldn't get past the football technicalities and put it down.

I assume the movie will focus solely on the Oher story. The name The Blind Side is a really cool play on words based on the left tackle protecting the quarterback's blind side. The parallels with both his football team's and family's blind sides are unmistakable.

I believe one of the fun things about the movie will be the various (mostly SEC) coaches who will be playing themselves. Only almost all of them are no longer at the schools they represent in the movie.

Tommy Tuberville, formerly at Auburn, is not coaching right now. Neither are Philip Fulmer, who left Tennessee last year, or Lou Holtz, whose last gig was at South Carolina before he became a fixture on ESPN.

Houston Nutt, formerly at Arkansas, is now at Ole Miss (and coached Oher in his final year). Nick Saban portrays himself in the movie as the LSU coach before he left and went to Alabama by way of the Miami Dolphins.

There are other coaches in the movie; these are the ones I can recall.

I highly recommend the movie, even though I haven't seen it yet, but more than that, would urge you, if at all possible, to read the book before seeing the movie. If you like football, it's almost a sure thing you'll like the book. If you don't, I still think there's a good chance you'll be entranced by the Oher story enough to get through the other parts.

And who knows, it might just make a football fan out of you.


Kelly said...

This is the type of story I would probably enjoy more as a movie than a book. I'm not much of a football fan, but have enjoyed a few football movies in the past.

If it shows up in my home on DVD at any point, I might watch. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll give it a pass.

I hope for your sake it's everything you want it to be!

Debby said...

I'm not much of a football fan, but I am a big fan of people. I'll probably look for the book at the library, and see the movie when it comes out on DVD.

quid said...

Although I'm not pretending that The Blind Side (saw the trailer) is going to be a serious, award winning film, I can't wait to see it.

What's your favorite football movie, Bob? Mine is "Remember the Titans".

As usual, you've inspired me. Look for my post on how much I'm looking forward to "The Road".. reading the book was a mindblowing experience. November 25.

Oh, and "Shutter Island", from Dennis Lehane's oft-maligned novel is looking good, too.


Bob said...

Well Quid, I loved "Remember the Titans" but my favorite might be "Rudy." Also loved "We are Marshall." I'm a sucker for shmaltzy sports movies. I sure hope The Blind Side is not pure corn. The book was so well written.

Steve H. said...

I'll have to check out the movie. I'm a sucker for a moving sports pic. I'm not a big basketball fan but I loved Hoosiers. And I need to watch Rudy again.

Quid: I know what you mean by reading The Road. Can't wait for the movie which I think may do justice. I read the last section at work and had to close the door to my office as I had tears streaming down my face.