Big Mike, Michael Oher, has had a hard childhood, his mother is on drugs and he is now homeless. Fortunately Mike has started a new school and shows some potential. When he is out walking in the rain he is spotted by Leigh Anne, the mother of another pupil at the school and when she realises he has no home she invites him back to their home for the night.
Leigh Anne and her family are very well off and she thinks nothing of helping Mike and trying to find out about his past. Mike reveals to her that he hates being called big mike so the family make it known that he is now called Michael. Before long Michael has become part of their family and he is showing improved work at school. Leigh Anne thinks that Michael would make a good football player due to his size so pushes to get him onto the team. Michael has to improve his school work before this can happen though.
Can Michael make the team and just how much change and impact will Michael and Leigh Anne have on each others lives?
I have wanted to see this film quite some time now and I am so glad that I finally got to watch it as both me and hubby loved it. The story was excellent and only made better by the fact it was a true story, I did not know this until the end of the film when we got told this and we actually got to see photos of the real Michael, Leigh Anne and her family. The fact that this is a true story made it more special to me and made me feel stronger and more emotional about what I had just watched. I am glad that I did not know that it was true when watching as I think there were times when I would have been reduced to tears.
The acting was just as strong as the story and the lead role of Michael was played by Quinton Aaron. He was amazing ad came across so well, I found him to be shy and very downtrodden at the start of the film and I loved seeing him come out of his shell and move on with his life as the story moved forward but there was always a side to him where he would keep things locked away. The way he showed emotions was good as he tried hard not to and I felt this was very true to life. He looked good, although a lot larger than other children of his age and I loved the fashion he chose for himself. There was a lovely tender chemistry between him and the other actors and this was strongest with the role of Leigh Anne. Leigh Anne was played by Sandra Bullock and this has to be the best film I have see her in for some time. She did come across as slightly stuck up at the start of the film but it was lovely to see how she changed during the story. She was strong and determined and I found great strength and warmth from watching her. The one thing I did not like about her was the accent. The other stand out role in the film for me was young SJ, he was played by Jae Head. He was strong and confident and he struck up a great friendship and bond with Michael. I found he also managed to bring a small amount of fun and humour to the story.
The setting for the film was good and it was only set a few years ago so everything looked up to date and modern, no real effort was needed for the costumes or sets and props and they all did look very good and fitted well with the theme of the story. We did get a lot of shots on the football field and I did enjoy seeing these despite not being a fan as they were quite fast paced and rough compared to the soft and dramatic storyline. We had a good soundtrack although it was not very memorable it did help with the emotions of what we were being shown.
During the film we did get to see a few flashback from Michael and his time with his family, I did find them quite hard and sad to watch at times but they added drama and background to Michael so they were needed. There were some very sad parts of the film, don’t get me wrong it is not a weepy film with sad endings but as I am a mother I just found parts hard to watch, so I do advise caution for soft people or mothers when watching.
Without giving away any spoilers the credits to the film are excellent and well worth watching as they are packed with photographs of the real Michael and Leigh Anne and for both me and hubby they were a wonderful inclusion and made for the perfect ending to such a good and powerful film.
The DVD which we have does have a bonus feature of additional scenes but I have not watched these so cannot comment on them, they are standard on the DVD so you will not have to pay extra to get them. The DVD is available at most shops for around £7 and I do think this is a great price. The running time is 123 minutes and the rate is a 12.
I am pleased to be giving this film an excellent recommendation and the full 5 stars. The story is powerful and true and the acting is spot on. This is definitely a film worth 2 hours of anyone’s time. Moving, powerful and heart warming all rolled into one.