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Film Review: ‘The Blind Side’ (and the power of adoption)

August 21, 2011

I thoroughly recommend ‘The Blind Side‘. I watched it last night and loved it. It’s the moving true story of Michael Oher, a tall, wide, and thus, conspicuous black teenager, who had a very deprived and terbulant childhood, which left him out of his parents’ care and fending for himself. Michael isn’t academic, having lacked good education, but he shows promise in some non-academic areas and sport. The film tells the story of how a privileged white family’s paths cross with his and how they welcome him into their home and take care of him, showing him a life he otherwise never would’ve had.

The film tracks the developing relationships with the Tuohy family beautifully. The growth of Michael’s character and his relationships with the family members are powerfully and genuinely portrayed. It’s very well cast and a captivating story. Even the fact that one of the themes is how Michael learns to fulfill his potential in American Football, which is a sport I have no interest in, doesn’t put me off, which is a big testament to how brilliant the film is! I really want to read the book now too.

The story is powerful, moving, heart-warming and challenging. It is based on a true story, which makes it more of each of those things.

The film got me thinking about the huge numbers of children in our world who have had disrupted, deprived and damaging childhoods and of all those children who don’t know what it is to have loving, reliable parents. But also, the huge impact that parents who adopt and foster can have and the amazing difference that can make to children and young people. My goodness, it can’t be an easy task to take children in, but the effect can be so far reaching. I really do admire those I know who adopt, foster and take in children, and give love, family and a safe and clean home to children who haven’t been born into those privileges, which I so often take for granted.

I’m thankful for ‘The Blind Side’, because it made me think about these important things and wasn’t just another mindless film! I’d say watch it if you can! Has anyone else got thoughts about the film or the themes it presented?

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    August 21, 2011 3:23 pm

    Thanks Natalie. Always great to read something positive about adoption. Alice and I think it’s the best thing you could ever do with your life (especially as Christians). We are both so grateful to God our father for our adoption into his family we can’t help but be excited about adoption in general. We’d love to see Christians seeing it as normal to adopt children as well as be fruitful in the usual way! Christians should be the overwhelming majority of people who are adopting in our society because we’ve all been recipients of the wonderful grace that is adoption ourselves. Adoption is the best! It was God’s plan before the creation of the world so it need to be our plan for our lives too.

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:26 pm

      Thanks Dave, it’s great to hear from someone who’s got first hand experience of adoption! Definitely agree that it should be considered as another normal option, especially for Christians who’ve had the most amazing adoption, from God! I think it’s such a shame that adoption is often only considered if a couple can’t be fruitful in the usual way.

  2. August 21, 2011 4:00 pm

    Hi Mike, I started not to comment, but thought I should share my thoughts too even if they weren’t totally in line with what has been stated. Yes, I did see the film and quite liked it as it was very positive, funny and heartwarming. I didn’t go to the theater when it first came out because even though the subject matter appealed to me (as I am a product of adoption) it can be tiring to see the same stories trotted out by Hollywood all of the time. Usually if adoption is the topic the stories center around a White family taking in and helping a poor and disenfranchised Black child. The act in itself is pure and positive. Whenever a family or an individual chooses to help a child it is a blessing! I have no issues with that whatsoever! But, this is the story that is mostly highlighted and reported in movies and in the media and it is a narrow view. There are scores of people of color who adopt children and those stories are largely untold.

    Also as an adult adoptee I know firsthand that adoption is not always as pleasant as some would like to believe. I won’t go into my personal story here, but I will say my experience was not like the one that was reflected in this movie. Adoptees are sometimes abused and lied to about their original families and often spend their whole lives searching emotionally for who they really are. I am very blessed to have been introduced to the Bible early in life and was able to establish a relationship with God. If not for that I don’t know where I’d be right now. Yes, adoption can be a positive and powerful avenue to protect children, but the system is a fragmented one which needs an overhaul. Counseling and support should be given to all adoptees as they grow into adulthood and when they want to find their natural parents. To be separated from your natural parents is like a death and you never get the chance to mourn, you’re told to forget and that adoption is great! When you have a new set of loving parents it can be, but when you don’t it’s not great at all. I just wanted to give another view. Thanks for allowing this topic to be discussed.

    http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/YYYY/MM/lyric-fire-its-all-in-the-comments-or-not-.html

    • August 22, 2011 11:06 am

      Tameka, thanks for taking the time to leave your story. This is Natalie’s post so I’ll leave her to comment but just wanted to agree with you that there will be many different stories of adoption and not all of them will be happy ones. I’m glad God found you and you are trusting Him now as that’s the best Father anyone could have and the best family to be a part of! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:38 pm

      Thank you so much for replying and sharing part of your experience, Tameka ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate you highlighting another side to the story, as I’m very aware that not having been through adoption myself I can easily have a rose-tinted view of it and it’s so important to try to be realistic. As you say, it is a good thing when people have the desire to help a child, but as with any good gift, unfortunately we can corrupt and spoil it. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking contribution ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. August 21, 2011 4:16 pm

    I have watched this movie several times and will continue watching it because it never gets old. I too am not a football fan but, this movie could be passed off as a “chick flick” because it is a tear-jerker. To see how this young man developed over a short period of time is a great story-line. It is very sad that many children never get the opportunity he got. What a blessing that family was to him, I only wish more kids could be brought out of Hell and taken in by such caring and loving individuals.

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:40 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts! I agree…it is definitely an encouraging and challenging film, with a thought-provoking message. I think I’ll be joining you in watching it several times! Have you read the book? Think I might try to find it!

  4. August 21, 2011 4:19 pm

    I loved the movie, your review was excellent. .

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:41 pm

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed the film (and the review!)

  5. August 21, 2011 4:23 pm

    Enjoyed the movie very much. I wish other race or cultures would be highlighted as well. All adoptions have a story and some have a happy ending and some do not….

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:43 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts..definitely agree…have you seen any other adoption related films or books which highlight other race or cultures? Would be interested!

  6. August 21, 2011 9:14 pm

    I’ve heard such good things about this movie — think I need to finally sit down and watch it!

    • August 21, 2011 9:18 pm

      Thanks Lisa, I would recommend you find a free evening to watch the film, it is good!

  7. August 22, 2011 9:25 am

    I’ve actually watched the movie with my dad. It’s very touching and almost seemed unreal. WHO could be so trusting and loving at these age of confusion and cynicism. Not everybody would be as fortunate. Both were blessings to each other. God is magnified here in this movie that’s why I loved it.

    I pray more people would share their love to others.

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:46 pm

      Thank you Melissa – a great prayer ๐Ÿ™‚ The tale is definitely more powerful against the backdrop of a confused and cynical time, as you say. God really is magnified in the story of Michael Oher!

  8. August 22, 2011 3:54 pm

    It’s a nice movie….watched it few days back.There’s a very special emotion attached to it which makes us look at life from different perspective.

    • Natalie permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ I totally agree..and finding a film that makes us look at life from a different perspective is so rare. Think that’s partly why I loved it!

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