There’s no denying that Sandra Bullock is an incredible actress — you don’t win an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award if you’re not! Ever since her premiere in Hangmen back in 1987, she’s been the star of several incredible films like Bird Box, Gravity, and Ocean’s 8.
Still, one of her roles has sparked a lot of controversy over the years, the very role that won her the Academy Award for Best Actress after its release. The Blind Side is currently the fourth most popular film on Hulu where Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the adoptive mother of famous NFL star Michael Oher.
“Oversized African American Michael Oher, the teen from across the tracks and a broken home, has nowhere to sleep at age 16. Taken in by an affluent Memphis couple, Leigh Anne and Sean, Michael embarks on a remarkable rise to play for the NFL.”Synopsis From Hulu
Many critics over the years have pointed out how the film has a “white savior” narrative which is defined as. “a cinematic trope in which a white character rescues non-white characters from unfortunate circumstances.” In fact, even Michael Oher himself commented on this in his book, I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond.
“I could not figure out why the director chose to show me as someone who had to be taught the game of football. Whether it was S.J. moving around ketchup bottles or Leigh Anne explaining to me what blocking is about, I watched those scenes thinking, ‘No, that’s not me at all! I’ve been studying –really studying—the game since I was a kid!’ That was my main hang-up with the film.”
This was just among some of the facts the films got incorrect about his story. Oher has also said that he hated the film and that it even hindered his NFL career, going so far as to say during a Super Bowl interview, “I’m tired of the movie. I’m here to play football.”
“I’m not trying to prove anything. People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That’s why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field.”Michal Oher to ESPN
While Oher has warmed up to the film in recent years, it doesn’t change the fact that many film critics, especially BIPOC critics, have taken serious issues with The Blind Side. Those who want to see the movie and decide its value for themselves can find it streaming on Hulu.