Saturday, November 21, 2009


Based on a true story

Ray McKinnon: Coach Cotton
Quentin Aaron: 17-year-old Michael “Big Mike” Oher
Kim Dickens: science teacher Mrs. Boswell
Jae Head: Big Mike’s friend S.J. Tuohy
Sandra Bullock: S.J.’s mother Leigh Anne
Tim McGraw: her husband Sean, Taco Bell franchise owner
Lily Collins: their daughter Collins
Kathy Bates: private tutor Miss Sue
Adriane Lenox: Michael’s mother

An African-American from the projects being taken in by a well-to-do white family is unusual in itself. What is not unusual is Hollywood’s treatment of the story which poses some credibility issues. But leaving that aside, the film has a lot going for it: quite a few humorous incidents (of the laugh-out-loud type too), some fine acting, a great soundtrack and emotional moments that are not too maudlin which would spoil the effect.

Non-sport fans will be pleased that there is not too much time devoted to the game of football. However there is a tad too much time in the last reel devoted to Michael and Leigh Ann talking seriously about things. A bit of editing would fix that up nicely and keep the running time to less than 2 hours.

for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.

• While reviewing Big Mike’s school grades the teacher on the left hand side of the table has her hands on her lap and a closed pink folder in front of her. When the camera angle shifts the folder has opened itself and we can see the papers inside.
• A percentile by definition is “the value of a variable below which a certain percent of observations fall.” For example the 20th percentile is the value (or score) below which 20% of the observations are found. While discussing Big Mike’s intelligence quotient one of the teachers says his I.Q. “falls in the 6% percentile”. There is no such thing as a percent of a percentile.
• Big Mike chooses a desk in the middle row of the classroom and sits down. At the end of the test he has magically relocated to the adjacent row of desks (which makes for a much better camera angle when he leaves).
• While dining in an upscale restaurant one of Leigh Ann’s lunch friends points with her knife to emphasize what she is saying. Cultured ladies would never make such a faux-pas. With their upbringing they would know that proper table etiquette states that “the knife is never pointed at anyone.”
• The rear view mirror is missing in the truck Big Mike and S.J. are riding in which is a clear violation of the state’s motor-vehicle laws.
• When Sean and Leigh Ann greet the university coach in the foyer, she demurely pulls her long sweater together leaving only a small gap in front. The camera angle shifts to see her in profile and the sweater is back where it started before she pulled it over herself.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA or sometimes referred to as the NC double A) is a voluntary association of about 1,300 organizations that oversees the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Member schools pledge to follow the rules promulgated by the NCAA which prohibits underhanded methods to get an athlete to join their varsity team.

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