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Movie Review: The Blind Side

Yum Brand franchisees Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy and Michael Oher at Academy Awards
Sean, Leigh Anne Tuohy & son Michael Oher at 2010 Academy Awards/YouTube

The Blind Side, an Oscar-winning movie, is based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, successful franchisees, and their three children. Actress Sandra Bullock, playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, won the Academy Award for best actress at the awards ceremony earlier this year. As brought out in the movie, Leigh Anne and her husband Sean, who live in Memphis, Tennesse, own more than 80 franchise units, including Taco Bell, KFC and Long John Silver’s, all three of which come under the Yum! Brands umbrella.

The movie features how Michael Oher (pronounced "oar'), who is now the starting offensive tackle for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, was taken under the family wing when he was still in high school and homeless, and their road together to his first year or two in college as a football star at Ole Miss.

Their story together started one rainy, very chilly night when the Tuohys were in the family car on their way home and Leigh Anne spotted a huge black kid walking along where it didn't look like his home would be, getting wet and wearing clothing that was much too light for the weather. Mother Leigh Anne, quickly taking note that  something was wrong, asked her children who he was. It just so happened that the children knew him as the new boy in their school, Big Mike. Leigh Anne invited a somewhat reluctant Michael to get in the car and out of the rain and took him to the Tuohy home, where he was put up on the family couch for the night. One night became two, then more, and Michael was soon living with the family.

With Michael’s background (his mother was a crack cocaine addict), he faced some big problems. He didn’t do well in school — in fact, his performance was downright miserable, which meant he wouldn't be able to play on the school team. How the Tuohys were a real family to Michael and helped him meet and overcome his challenges makes a great story.

See the video to see Sandra Bullock’s Academy Award acceptance speech and, at the 1 minute 52 second mark, a quick pan of, from left to right, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy and, the big man himself, Michael Oher. You can also see Sandra's real-life husband, Jesse James, saying something to her just before she gets up to go on stage to accept her Oscar. A couple of weeks later, upon discovering Jesse's cheating, lying ways, she left him and filed for divorce. That story is still major fodder for the gossip tabloids.

The Blind Side trailer

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