Sandra Bullock, best known for her roles in syrupy and quirky romantic comedies, nabbed an Oscar for Best Actress at last night’s Academy Awards for her leading role in The Blind Side. (Watch the acceptance speech here.)
Unlike some of the previous winners who have played the worst among us, she portrays a Christian woman, Leigh Anne Tuohy, whose life is transformed by taking in a troubled teenager, Michael Oher. Their story cannot possibly be captured in 126 minutes. (Whose life can?) But in those fast, action-filled minutes, The Blind Side does a fantastic job of trying!
Typically, an actress takes home awards for “pushing the envelope” or “choosing artistry over modesty” so it’s refreshing when an actress is lauded for her portrayal of an unapologetic, strong-willed Christian woman. (Republican, even. Gasp!)
As you’ll see in the clip below of different cast members reflecting on the movie, Sandra Bullock was hesitant to be cast as Leigh Anne Tuohy; first, because Leigh Anne is a Christian and second, because she doesn’t apologize for who she is.
If the scenes from the movie don’t move you, I have serious concerns about the condition of your heart. No, it’s not something a good statin can fix. If your heart isn’t tender, it will skip over the selflessness of this family and look for reasons to hate it. Michael Oher loves his family and I can certainly see why.
After seeing The Blind Side together, I asked my 11 year old nephew what he thought about it as we left the movie theater. Without missing a beat, he responded, “That was probably the best movie I’ve ever seen.” (Take that, CGI!) Everyone I talked to who saw it were effusive in their praise of not just the movie but the strength of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Michael Oher’s sheer determination to survive and succeed. These are people you pull for in life. I can tell you that Michael Oher has more fans now that we know who he is! (Typically, my family identifies collegiate players and follows their NFL careers from there, making us more loyal towards particular players than franchises. We’re not Ole Miss fans so we wouldn’t have been familiar with him. I can tell you that we pulled for Michael Oher this season and were stoked when the Baltimore Ravens proceeded into the playoffs.)
As Leigh Anne Tuohy says, “Lip service is easy.” I have never met the Tuohys but as a fellow believer, I know their demonstrated love is a reminder to all of us: feeling love for others and giving love to others go hand in hand. May we never look past people in need but give freely and cheerfully – of our belongings, of our time and of our selves.
I’m happy for Sandra Bullock. I’m more satisfied, however, that this giving Christian family has been brought to the forefront of American pop culture and Oscar history, where they most certainly belong.
Because I comment on politics in this blog, it’s only fitting that I show this clip. In a year when Obama’s approval rankings are tanking, unemployment is rising (though not “unexpectedly” as the media would have you believe), tea party patriots are being demeaned but not deterred and Republicans have been victorious in Liberal Massachusetts (“the bluest of blue states”), it is only fitting that the “Performance by an actress in a leading role” goes to a Sandra Bullock and her impeccable portrayal of a Christian, Republican woman. Below is a cute clip of Michael’s tutor when her opposing political leanings are revealed. There’s an even better line in the movie but I’ll leave that one for you to discover when you watch the full feature for yourselves.
There is only one thing left to do. Go see The Blind Side!