Analysis of Scene from The Blind Side (2009)

Bradley William Page
June 22, 2014

The Blind Side was produced in 2009 and directed by John Lee Hancock. Some of the main characters include Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), and Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). The Blindside can be classified as a Realism documentary film (Giannetti 4). This film is a documentary of Michael Oher's life. The film tells Michael's life story and how he went from having nothing, to becoming a successful NFL player. He was able to do this with the help of his foster family, the Touhy's.

The scene that I analyzed from this film was one in which Michael is playing in his first high school football game. This particular scene starts out with a long shot from the bleachers, showing the coaching staff along with Michael and his teammates on the field. Starting the scene with a long shot makes you feel as if you are sitting in the stands watching the game. I really thought this was a perfect way to start this scene because it immediately gets you into a football mindset.

After the opening long shot, the scene goes into a close-up of Michael and his opponent. They are each in a four-point stance facing one another. You can see the intensity in both of their faces. Michael closes his eyes and waits for his quarterback to say hike. Once his quarterback says, "GO!" Michael opens his eyes and lunges forward toward his opponent.

Once Michael grabs his opponent and starts to push him backwards, the scene jumps to a full shot. In doing this, it makes me feel as if I am running right next to Michael on the football field. This is great for the scene because once again, it allows for the viewers to become engaged. At the end of the scene, Michael pushes his opponent over a wall. After this is done, a close-up of the head coach is used to show a surprised look on his face. The coach is surprised to see that Michael was able to push his opponent all the way across the field because Michael had been getting dominated by his opponent all game. The last shot used in this scene was another close-up but, this time, it was of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy. Both of them are smiling from ear to ear because they are over joyed with happiness after seeing Michael make an amazing play.

A lot of different movements are used throughout this scene. The very first part of the scene is when the camera shows a close-up of Michael's face. The film goes into slow motion before his quarterback says hike. The slow motion shows the intensity in Michael's face. This also shows that he is calming himself down while getting ready for the snap of the ball. To me, this is the perfect time for a slow motion shot. I believe this particular shot in the scene has a message. Michael is having a rough game up until this point and going into slow motion is showing the viewers that when the going gets tough, take a second and regroup, and start over. Michael took a second to regroup and dominated the rest of the game.

A specific sequence in this scene used an interesting dolly shot technique to show Michael pushing his opponent across the field. A dolly shot is where the camera is on a vehicle, going along a track, to follow the movements of characters or props (Giannetti 110). In this case, it was following Michael throughout this part of the scene.

There are many different sounds that are heard throughout the course of a football game. Sound can show emotion, anger, suspense, encouragement, etc. Football is a rough sport. You hear the grunting of the players on each side of the ball, trash talk, roaring of the crowd, whistles blowing, coaches screaming, and cheerleaders cheering. Depending on the tempo, volume, or pitch, sound affects how viewers interpret a scene (Giannetti 208).

In a sarcastic and threatening tone, Michael's opponent says, "Coach ain't here to protect ya, now is he?" Earlier in the film, Michael's coach stood up for him. This is what his opponent is referring to. He is trying to scare Michael and make him feel as if he is helpless on his own. Next, the quarterback yells, "GO!" with sheer intensity. Michael and his opponent collide; unleashing a bone crushing, pad crackling sound. As Michael is pushing his opponent across the field, the crowd goes into an uproar, cheering for Michael and his team. Hearing the sounds of the crowd reminds me of the football games I have been too. It really puts me in the moment.

After the play is over, Michael's coach congratulates him by saying, "That a boy Michael Oher, that a boy. Go get' em." I could hear the joy and happiness in the coach's voice, along with the compassion and intensity to win this football game.

The Blindside is a great movie. A lot of work goes into each and every scene in a film. The types of shots used to catch all of the action, the way characters, objects, and the camera move through each and every scene, all play a major role in how the film is perceived. Analyzing this particular scene from The Blindside gave me a better understand as to how movies are made to attract viewers.

Works Cited

    Giannetti, Louis. Understanding Movies. New York: Pearson. 2001. Print.

    The Blind Side. Dir. John Lee Hancock. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009. DVD.

You may view this scene from the Blind Side at Critical Commons.