The Blind Side (2009) Script

[CROWD CHEERING IN DISTANCE]

LElGH ANNE: There's a moment oforderly silence before a football play begins.

Players are in position, linemen are frozen, and anything is possible.

ANNOUNCER [ON TV]: Almost Indian-summer weather here in mid-November.

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

LElGH ANNE: Then, like a traffic accident, stuff begins to randomly collide.

From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bone...

...is closer to four seconds than five.

ANNOUNCER: First and 10. Riggins, flea flicker back to Theismann.

Theismann's in a lot of trouble.

[TAPE REWlNDlNG]

LElGH ANNE: One Mississippi. Joe Theismann, the Redskins' quarterback...

...takes the snap and hands off to his running back.

ANNOUNCER: First and 1 0. Riggins--

LElGH ANNE: Two Mississippi.

It's a trick play, a flea flicker...

...and the running back tosses the ball back to the quarterback.

ANNOUNCER: Flea flicker back to Theismann.

LElGH ANNE: Three Mississippi.

Up to now, the play's been defined by what the quarterback sees. lt's about to be defined by what he doesn't.

Four Mississippi.

Lawrence Taylor is the best defensive player in the NFL...

...and has been from the time he stepped onto the field as a rookie.

ANNOUNCER: Theismann's in a lot of trouble.

And it was Lawrence Taylor...

...who slammed Theismann to the ground at the 42-yard line. The blitz was on....

LElGH ANNE: He will also change the game of football as we know it.

ANNOUNCER: We'll look at it with the reverse angle one more time.

And l suggest if your stomach is weak, you just don't watch.

LElGH ANNE: Legendary quarterback Joe Theismann...

...never played another down of football.

Now, y'all would guess that, more often than not...

...the highest paid player on an NFL team is a quarterback...

...and you'd be right.

But what you probably don't know is, more often than not...

...the second highest paid player is, thanks to Lawrence Taylor, a left tackle.

Because as every housewife knows, the first check you write is for the mortgage...

...but the second is for the insurance.

And the left tackle's job is to protect the quarterback from what he can't see coming.

To protect his blind side.

The ideal left tackle is big, but a lot of people are big.

He's wide in the butt and massive in the thighs.

He has long arms, giant hands and feet as quick as a hiccup.

This is a rare and expensive combination...

...the need for which can be traced to that Monday night game and Lawrence Taylor.

For on that day, he not only altered Joe Theismann's life...

...but mine as well.

WOMAN: Mr. Oher.

Mr. Oher.

Do you understand? Do you know why l'm here?

To investigate?

Yes. To investigate.

I'm here to investigate your odd. . .predicament.

Do you find it odd, your predicament?

Michael?

I don't know.

-Can l--? Can l leave now? -No, you can't.


[INDlSTlNCT CHATTER]


MAN: Where's Coach Cotton's office?

Thanks, man.

They said you were the coach.

Bert Cotton.

Tony Hamilton, but everybody just calls me Big Tony.

Hey, Big Mike, check it out.

Not even locked.

White people are crazy.

[GRUNTS]

TONY: I promised my ma, Boo, on her deathbed...

. ..that l'd get my son, Steven, out of public school and into a church school.

I appreciate that, Tony, but I'm not involved with admissions.

I just figured maybe I can come talk to you.. .

. ..seeing as though you might need some players.

-What kind of sport does he play? -Anything with a ball. The boy's good too.

Classes start in a week. It'd have to be for next semester.

I know what you're thinking, coach.

But look here, l got money, all right?

See, l'm a mechanic at Wilson's Auto, the other side of town.

Well, look, what if somebody drops out or moves? Could they get in then?

"They"? You only mentioned one son.

That's right, Steven. But there's another boy.

-Heh. Another boy? -Yeah.

Big Mike. Sleeps on my couch from time to time.

It's a bad deal. You know, his mom's on that crack pipe.

He ain't got nobody else. He just wanted to come along for the ride.

-They're here? -Yeah.

Now, the little one, that's Steven...

. ..and the big one....

Big Mike.

STEVEN: Swish!

Big Mike! Ha-ha.

Come on.

Mother of God.

MAN: Steven Hamilton's paperwork looks acceptable to me...

. ..and l believe he'll do fine. But this other kid....

-Big Mike. -Michael Oher...

. ..gives us no reason to believe that. . .

. ..based on his records, that he would be successful here.

Well, how bad could it be?

We're not exactly sure how old he is, due to his lack of records.

He has a measured lQ of 80, which is sixth percentile.

His grade-point average begins with zero, 0.6.

Everyone passed him along.

They gave him D's so they could hand their problem off to the next school.

He's a brave kid.

For wanting to come here, for wanting a quality education.

An education denied him by the poor quality of schools he's attended.

Most kids with his background wouldn't come within 200 miles of this place.

Coach Cotton, we understand your interest in this young man's athletic abilities.

He wouldn't be able to play sports until he got his grades up.

Forget sports.

Look at the wall.

"Christian." We either take that seriously or we paint over it.

You don't admit Michael Oher because of sports.

You admit him because it's the right thing to do.

[STUDENTS CHATTERlNG]


Class, this is Mike Oher. . .

. ..and he's new here so l expect you all to make him feel welcome.

Mike, just take any empty seat.

This is a quiz based on the information...

. ..you learned last year in your science curriculum.

Don't worry, it's not gonna be graded.

I just wanna see how much information we need to hit again.

Just answer whatever you know.


[BELL RINGS]

[STUDENTS CHATTERlNG]

[GlRL LAUGHlNG]

Thank you.

-Can l leave now? -Yeah.

Take your book.

WOMAN: l'm tired of having someone always in our home.

I'm tired of him eating all the food.

TONY: Look, man, you gotta be Christian about this thing.

WOMAN: Let somebody else be Christian about this thing.

TONY: Dee, come on, l can't kick him out on the street like he's some dog.

DEE: Let somebody else take the responsibility.

TONY: What, you want me to go to Beale Street and drop him off?

DEE: When do l have time just to be with you?

TONY: All right, all right. Whatever. You win. l'll take care of it.

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

WOMAN: l don't care if Patrick Ramsey approved the chair.

He's an NFL quarterback, not Martha fricking Stewart.

Because there is a difference between Bunny Williams and a La-Z-Boy.

No, see, when MTV Cribs comes to his house...

. ..he'll be showing off his home theater.

All I'm gonna see is a brown Barcalounger.

No, listen to me, I'm the designer, my name is on it.

Deliver what I ordered, all right? Thank you.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

Yeah!

LElGH ANNE: What'd l miss? -Collins just got a dig.

It's girls' volleyball, Mom. You didn't miss anything.

CROWD: Oh!

-Come on, Collins, move your feet. SEAN: Good job, Collins.

Go.

We'll wait for you outside.

Don't double condition in the shower, you have homework.

I'm going to Cannon's to study.

SJ! SJ, do not go in the girls' locker room again. Come here! SJ, come here!

MAN: The big kid's been here for, what, a month?

He's still not cutting it in my class.

Why does Admissions do this? I mean, it's not fair to us or the boy.

They're just setting him up to fail.

I don't think he has any idea of what I'm teaching.

And how would you know if he did? He won't even talk.

He writes.

His name. Barely.

He threw this in the trash can.

"I look and l see white everywhere:

White walls, white floors, and a lot of white people.

The teachers do not know l have no idea of anything they are talking about.

I do not wanna listen to anyone, especially the teachers.

They are giving homework and expecting me to do the problems on my own.

I have never done homework in my life.

I go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and say:

'This is not Michael Oher."'

He entitled it "White Walls."

How's the spelling?

[CHUCKLlNG]

Hi.

Smile at them. It lets them know you're their friend.

You're Big Mike, right?

Well, l'm Sean.

But everyone calls me SJ. It's for Sean Junior. My father's name is Sean.

Sean Tuohy? He was a basketball star at Ole Miss, point guard.

Now he owns like a million Taco Bells.

[HONKING HORN]

[SPEAKS IN SPANlSH]

LElGH ANNE: Who is that, SJ? SJ: Big Mike.

Get your feet off my dash.

Thank you. Put on your seat belt.

[STARTS ENGlNE]

Big Mike?

Mike, l got a call from someone at the police department.

You remember a story in the papers a while back about a man who. . .

. ..fell off an overpass?

No one knew who he was.

They didn't know if he jumped or if. . . .

Well, anyway, he-- He passed away.

Mike, that man was your father.

They've been looking for somebody to notify and they--

They found your name in our registry.

I'm really sorry, son.

Were you close to him?

When's the last time you saw him?

I don't know.


-He knows it! -Who knows it and what does he know?

The material. Michael Oher. I gave him this test verbally.

-ls that even allowed? -A "C"? On how big a curve?

He's been listening all along. It's amazing what he's absorbed.

And, trust me, he's listening to you too. Now, his reading level is low...

. ..and he's got no idea how to learn in a classroom. . . .

I'm not saying he's gonna pass, but Big Mike is not stupid.

LElGH ANNE: Hey. Good job. SJ: Mama. Daddy.

SEAN: Good job. Hey. . .

-. . . I got a question for you. SJ: Yeah?

There was a little girl about two rows back. What was her name?

-Oh, that was Kinsey. -Kinsey, yeah.

I saw your little lndian feathers get all ruffled up.

Yeah! She is nice.

SJ. Don't let this go to your head...

. ..but l thought you were very convincing in the role of....

-lndian Number 3? -Yes.

I tried out for the chief, but they gave it to Andy Sung.

I can't be sure, but l think there's some multi-cultural-bias thing working.

Or maybe they just thought that he'd make a better chief.

Dad, he's, like, Chinese.

Yeah, and you're lrish.

If you weren't the chief, how did you get the headdress?

Dad, I'm gonna need a few more of those free quesadilla tickets.

[CHUCKLES]

And where does the acorn fall?

Hey, don't laugh too hard. The quesadillas saved our ass.

Don't use the A-word.

What is he wearing?

It's freezing.

-What's his name again? -Big Mike.

Where is he going?

Hey, Big Mike. Where you headed?

Gym.

Go ahead.

Turn around.

Big Mike!

Stop the car.

Big Mike.

Hey. My name's Leigh Anne Tuohy. My kids go to Wingate.

You said you were going to the gym?

School gym's closed.

Why were you going to the gym?

Big Mike, why were you going to the gym?

Because it's-- It's warm.

Do you have anyplace to stay tonight?

Don't you dare lie to me.

I've seen that look many times. She's about to get her way.

Come on.

SJ, make room.

Get inside.

Come on.

-Where we going? -Home.

I know, it's my favorite part. He's so cute.

How'd the dork do in the school play?

Um....

Okay.

Collins, do you know Big Mike from school?

I'd give you the guest bedroom, but it's full of sample boxes.

And the sectional in the family room slides apart when you sleep on it.

Least that's what Sean says.

Mr. Tuohy sleeps on the couch?

Only when he's bad. All right.

The powder room is right there and we will be upstairs if you need us. All right?

Okay. Sleep tight, honey.


LElGH ANNE: Was this a bad idea?

What?

Don't lie there and pretend like you're not thinking the same thing as me.

Tell me what you're thinking so I'll know what's supposed to be on my mind.

How well do you know Big Mike?

Case you hadn't noticed, he didn't have much to say.

What's the big deal? It's just for one night, right?

It is just for one night, right, Leigh Anne?

You don't think he'll steal anything, do you?

I guess we'll know in the morning.

ANNOUNCER [ON TV]: --talking about Mississippi and Arkansas.

The fight's gotten more interesting.

Well, if you hear a scream, call the insurance adjuster.

[CHUCKLES]

Mike?

Big Mike?

Mike?

Big Mike!

You gonna make me walk the whole way?

All right, then.

Where are you going?

I don't know.

Well, are you spending Thanksgiving with your family?

ANNOUNCER [ON TV]: Those 40, 50 guys from State here can quiet them down.

As you mentioned, the Mississippi State defensive--

-Come and get it, y'all. -Yeah, baby!

SEAN: Let's eat!

Come on!

It's that Rebel turkey.

Thank your mother for driving to the store and getting this.

COLLlNS: Thank you, Mama. -Thank you, Mama.

SEAN: Food and football. LElGH ANNE: Eat all you want.

Come on. Hustle, hustle. We gotta get back over there.

SJ: Going, Dad.

Don't take my spot.

-No rushing, SJ. SJ, slow down. -Coming through.

SJ: No. SEAN: This is fantastic.

LElGH ANNE: Oh, y'all, l forgot the potato salad. How's Ole Miss doing?

SEAN: They're kicking butt.

ANNOUNCER: One wide receiver left... SEAN: Good, huh?

...and one corner, number 30, out in press coverage--

Sean, salad.

SJ: lt's great, Mom. COLLlNS: So good. Thanks, Mama.

Yeah, Mama.

Nice little surge, but not much running inside.

SJ: Come on. -And the Rebels got third and long here.

Birdsong and Mawhinney on the tackle. Ole Miss, five of 1 0 on third downs.

From the 26, third down and six for the Rebs here.

SJ: Come on, defense. l formation. The rain is slow, let's see if they try a pass or not.

Now Turner goes in motion out of the backfield.

State showing blitz, Manning to throw.

Runs to his right, throws it at the feet of the--

-Hey. Mom. -What?

But it's Thanksgiving.

-Wow . -Why are we eating in here?

Shall we say grace?

Heavenly Father, we thank you for all the many blessings on this family.

We thank you for bringing us a new friend.

And we ask that you look after us on this holiday season.. .

. ..that we may never forget how very fortunate we are. Amen.

Amen.

SEAN: Let's check the score. SJ: Up by 1 0.

LElGH ANNE: Collins, can you pass me the green beans, please?

Don't pick it with your fingers. Just take-- Take a sp-- Ta--

-SJ, elbows. -Sorry.

So, Big Mike. You like to shop?

Because tomorrow l think I'm gonna have to show you how it's done.

[SNORTS]

I got clothes.

You have clothes.

And an extra T-shirt in a plastic bag does not a wardrobe make.

I have clothes.

Fine, let's go get them. Just tell me where l'm going.

All right.

Tell me everything I need to know about you. Who takes care of you? A mother?

Do you have a mother? A grandmother maybe?

Tell you what, Big Mike, we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way.

You take your pick.

Fine.

Tell me just one thing I should know about you. Just-- Just one.

I don't like to be called Big Mike.

Okay.

Tell you what, from now on, to me, you're Michael.

Okay?

So, Michael...

. ..where are we headed?

ALTON: I kid y'all not, y'all. I'm gonna tell it. Make it rain and everything, right?

Shorty-- Shorty gets to the top of the pole. She just done--

MAN 1 : That's nice. MAN 2: Yo, check it.

MAN 3: What's that, a seven? MAN 4: For real.

Yeah.

ALTON: Yeah, right there.

-You know them? -Man, l ain't got no idea, shorty.

This is where your mother lives?

-Let's go get them. -Don't-- Don't get out.

Who's gonna help you carry your clothes, Michael?

Don't get out the car.

ALTON: Snowflake.

Oh. That's Big Mike, man.

Oh, Big Mike is in the house.

Big Mike! Where you been, baby?

Hey, who that fine thing you got driving you around now, like Miss Daisy or something?

Hey, David.

ALTON: You need to holler at me about them sneakers, man. l'm gonna take care of you.

I run this over here in Hurt Village. Baby, believe that.

Ey. Hey, D, watch this. They always go for the wink, watch this.

There you go. Yeah, snowflake. Ha-ha-ha.

You like that. Yeah.


WOMAN 1 : That girl will not listen to me. WOMAN 2: She don't listen to nobody.

-Hey, Mike. -Hi, Big Mike.

MlCHAEL: She wasn't home.

Well, we can come back.

She probably moved to a nicer place.

[MEN CHATTERlNG lNDISTINCTLY]

I've been in Memphis my whole life and never been anywhere near here.

-You're gonna take care of me, right? MlCHAEL: I got your back.

Now just follow me, y'all. Uh-huh.

There we go.

Oh, we also got apparel for the ladies.

But everything we got that'll fit him is right here.

This is it?

If this is all you got, why's it say "Big and Tall" on the sign?

Big and Tall. You need Bigger and Taller.

-Holler if you need me. LElGH ANNE: Thank you.

-See anything you like? -Hey, l got just what you're looking for.

One thing I know about shopping is that...

. ..if you don't love it in the store, you won't wear it.

The store's where you like it the best.

So before you choose something, think of yourself wearing it.

Say to yourself, "ls this me?"

What about this one?

Well, this is not atrocious, this. . . .

No? All right, well, you go look over there and I'll go look over here.

Why would you need this many coats out of plastic?

Good Lord. What is this made out of?

That's the one? That's the one you like?

Well, all right, then.

[CAR DOOR CLOSES]

Have a great day! Learn something.

[HORN HONKS]

Oh, don't get your panties in a wad.

[STARTS ENGlNE]

[INDlSTlNCT CHATTER]

BETH: The best part about Paris was the food.

They use sauce like we use gravy.

-l had to join a gym the day I got back. WOMAN: Oh.

Have y'all spent much time on the other side of town?

-Where exactly are you talking about? -Alabama Street, Hurt Village.

Hurt Village? That sounds like a threat.

LElGH ANNE: Not far off.

I think it might hurt me to go there.

It would hurt your reputation to go there.

Actually, I'm from there but didn't mind hard work, and look where I am now.

Eating an $1 8 salad?

[WOMEN CHUCKLlNG]

And it's a little soggy, to be honest.

What is this sudden interest in the projects? Another one of your "charities"?

Wait. Project for the projects. Ooh. That's catchy!

Y'all, money would raise itself.

Okay. Count me in, Leigh Anne.

[WOMEN CHUCKLlNG]

-Break out your checkbooks. WOMAN: Yes.

SJ, you have two more minutes on that Playbox thing, all right?

SJ: Aw, Mom! -There you go.

Michael, do you wanna stay here?

I mean, because if you wanna stay here for a while longer...

. .. l can find some time to figure out a bedroom for you.

I mean, because look at this.

You have practically ruined a $1 0,000 couch.

Do you wanna stay here, Michael?

I don't wanna go anyplace else.

Well, all right, then.

SJ, you better be off that Playbox.

SJ: That wasn't two minutes.

Good night, Mrs. Tuohy.

I see on the admission that we're Michael's contact for medical emergencies.

MRS. SMITH: Sean wrote that in last week.

We needed a contact number and the ones listed weren't in service.

I love that man.

What's this?

The state makes schools measure for career aptitude in the eighth grade. . .

-. . .and this just came with his file. -What's it say about Michael?

Spatial relations, third percentile.

Ability to learn, fifth percentile.

It's funny though. He tested in the 98th percentile in one category.

-Which one? -Protective instincts.

So over here you have a desk, chest of drawers...

. ..you have a nightstand, a light, an alarm.

Sean says all pro athletes use futons if they can't find a bed big enough. . .

. ..so l got you one of those. Of course the frame was heinous.

I was not about to let that in my house, but I got you something nicer.

-lt's mine? -Yes, sir.

-What? -Never had one before.

What, a room to yourself?

A bed.

Well, you have one now.


MRS. BOSWELL: Okay. Define osmosis.

I think I know that one.

It's when water passes through a barrier.

That's basically right, Michael. Very good.

Name the combatants in the Battle of Waterloo.

I know that one. Um....

-The little guy, Napoleon. -Uh-huh.

He was on one side and a duke was on the other.

Duke of Wellington.

Yeah, and the Duke of Wellington, he had Russians helping him.

Prussians.

Enough with the rugby shirts. You look like a giant bumblebee.

SJ: That Taco Bell.

KFC catty-corner. And the Long John Silver's on the next block.

MlCHAEL: You own all of them?

-Yeah. We've got like hundreds. -Eighty-five.

Is that why Mr. Tuohy don't have to go to work?

Whoa, whoa! Hey! l'm working even when l'm not working.

-What? -And you eat at all these places for free?

All you want. lt's awesome.

What do y'all do with all the leftover food from the restaurant?

We have to throw some out, what's already cooked.

-That's too bad. -Yeah, I'd rather sell it.

Seems like you could give it away or something.

-You should check into that, Daddy. SEAN: All right, l will, SJ.

How come we're not eating at one of your restaurants tonight?

-Well, because tonight is a special occasion. SJ: What?

I talked to Coach Cotton. He said Michael's grades have improved enough...

. ..that he can go out for spring football in March.

-lsn't that great? -Oh, man! You're gonna crush some people!

[SEAN CHUCKLES]

-Hey, guys, how we doing? -Great, thank you.

I've got a design book l need to get. Why don't you check our reservation?

They'll seat us right away. Can't it wait?

They might be closed by then. Come on, SJ!

I need some new magazines.

Michael, come on. Come on.

Collins? Collins?

Collins, come on, your dad's already PO'd. Let's go.

COLLlNS: Over here.

[COLLINS CHUCKLlNG]

[CHATTERlNG]

You remember this one, Mom? You read it to us like a thousand times.

"He gnashed his terrible teeth and he roared his terrible roar."

I always liked this one.

Mm. Ferdinand.

Me too.

Michael, your mama ever read either one of those books to you?

No?

COLLlNS: How cute!

SEAN: It was a good steak, huh?

COLLlNS: Thank you, Daddy.

LElGH ANNE: Thank you for a lovely dinner, Papa.

SEAN: Here we go.

[INAUDIBLE DlALOGUE]

Michael. Who was that boy you were talking to at the restaurant?

Marcus.

-Marcus, and he-- He works there? -Yeah.

How do you know him?

He's my brother.

Well, we'd really-- We'd really like to meet him someday.

Would that be okay with you?

MlCHAEL: I don't know where he stays.

LElGH ANNE: When was the last time you saw him?

When I was little, maybe.

LElGH ANNE: "Once upon a time in Spain, there was a little bull...

. ..and his name was Ferdinand.

All the other little bulls he lived with would run and jump...

. ..and butt their heads together.

But not Ferdinand.

He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers.

He had a favorite spot out in the pasture under a cork tree.

LElGH ANNE: lt was his favorite tree...

...and he would sit in its shade all day and smell the flowers."

-Good night. -Good night.

-What? -What?

Why are you smiling?

I don't know, l'm just happy. Real happy.

Does this happiness have anything to do with Michael?

No.

It has everything to do with Michael.

Mm. Mm.

-Happy's good. -Mm.

You know what l think we should do?

We should start a charity for kids like Michael.

-Okay. -Maybe fund a program at Wingate.

Sure.

Lord knows that school could use a little color.

Poor Michael's like a fly in the milk in that place.

Are you listening to me?

-Hmm? -l try to concentrate on one. . .

. ..thing...

. ..at a time.

[WHlSPERlNG] You knew I was a multitasker. ..

. ..when you married me, right?

-l sure did. -Right. Okay, just checking.

Okay, Tuohy family. Big smiles, everyone.

And one, two, three!

Michael.

Come on down here and get in the next one.

Come on. Come on. Come on down.

Oh, come on. lt's not like I'm gonna put it on the Christmas card.

Okay, let's scootch in a little tighter.

That's good.

Really big smiles.

Okay, one, two, three.

-Say "Rebels!" ALL: Rebels!

ANNOUNCER [ON TV]: --a blitz off the corner, quick pass over the middle.

-The hot route was there. And that's.... LElGH ANNE: l got it.

-Who's winning? -Tennessee.

-Ugh. Who they playing? -Clemson.

Your mama roots against Tennessee no matter who they play?

Uh-- Yes, l do. With gusto.

She can't stand Tennessee.

Collie-bell, l thought you were going over to your boyfriend's.

Thought l'd hang around here for the day.

Hmm.

I like that.

There's a couple messages on the machine. I didn't check them.

LElGH ANNE: All right.

BOBBY: Hey, Sean, hey, Leigh Anne, it's your cousin Bobby. Happy New Year's.

-Listen, l've had about five cold ones.. . -Of course you have.

...so I'm just gonna go ahead and ask:

Did y'all know there's a colored boy in your Christmas card?

[BOTH CHUCKLING]

What?

You just looked teeny-tiny next to him.

Right? Like Jessica Lange and King Kong.

[WOMEN LAUGHING]

Hey, does Michael get the family discount at Taco Bell?

Because if he does, Sean's gonna lose a few stores.

He's a good kid.

Well, l say you make it official and just adopt him.

[WOMEN LAUGHING]

He's gonna be 1 8 in a few months. Doesn't really make much sense to legally adopt.

Leigh Anne.

Is this some sort of white-guilt thing?

ELAINE: What will your daddy say?

Um.... Before or after he turns over in his grave?

Daddy's been gone five years, Elaine.

Make matters worse, you were at the funeral. Remember?

You wore Chanel and that awful black hat.

Look, here's the deal.

I don't need y'all to approve my choices, all right?

But l do ask that you respect them. You have no idea what this boy's been through.

And if this is gonna become some running diatribe...

. .. l can find an overpriced salad a lot closer to home.

-Leigh Anne, l'm sorry. We didn't intend to-- -No, we didn't, really.

BETH: I think what you're doing is so great.

To open up your home to him?

Honey, you're changing that boy's life.

No.

He's changing mine.

And that's awesome for you, but what about Collins?

-What about Collins? ELAINE: Aren't you worried?

I mean, even just a little?

He's a boy, a large, black boy, sleeping under the same roof.

Shame on you.

I've got this.

LElGH ANNE: Be honest with me, okay?

Does Michael being here make you uncomfortable?

They're stupid kids. Who cares what they say?

-What kids? -At school.

They're juvenile.

And what do the juvenile kids say?

It's really not worth repeating.

And don't worry about SJ.

He likes all the attention. He introduces Michael as his big brother.

And what about you?

It's fine.

I mean, you can't just throw him out on the street.

I could make other arrangements.

GIRL: Hi, Mike. -Hi. Need a push?

Yes.

MlCHAEL: Oh. GIRL: Higher, Mike, higher!

[MICHAEL & GIRLS CHUCKLlNG]

GIRL: Higher!

[GlRL GlGGLING]

Higher!

[MICHAEL & GIRLS CHUCKLlNG]

GIRL: Don't look down, don't look down. Ah!

[MICHAEL CHUCKLES]


-Where are you going? -Collins?

Quit looking at me like that.

I mean, we study together at home.

You know how much those things weigh? This kid's gonna make us all famous.

[CHUCKLES]

Easy, Bert, man. It's only the spring. He hasn't even had his first practice yet.

No, he's a player.

PLAYERS: Break!

QB: Ready. PLAYERS: Break!

COTTON: Get down, son. Get down in your stance. In your stance!

QB: Go!

COTTON: Shuck him, shuck him! Ah, ah--

Mike, son, you-- You fought off the block...

. ..but then you wanna shuck the blocker.

All right? Shuck him. All right, let's go.

QB: Huddle up.

Papa.

[SIGHS]

How's he doing?

Hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet.

[PLAYERS YELLING]

[WHlSTLE BLOWlNG]

COTTON: Mike, son.

Shuck the blocker, don't tote him!

QB: Set, go!

No, no, no! No, no, no!

QB: Set, go!

Balloons! They're balloons!

Guys, quit looking at the balloons. Everybody!

COTTON: Most kids from bad situations can't wait to be violent...

. ..and that comes out on the field.

But this kid, he acts like he doesn't wanna hit anyone.

He's Ferdinand the Bull.

COTTON: What? -Nothing.

I thought he was gonna be a player. l can't believe I used up all my chips to get him in.

I thought you said it was your Christian duty.

Look, Bert, he's never even played before.

Yeah, and he won't this fall if he doesn't improve a lot before then.

Who died and made him Bear Bryant?

[LAUGHS]

Unbelievable.

Oh, God bless me.

This is your summer workout sheet.

Now, first it says to warm up and get loose.

Well, go ahead, get loose.

Are you loose?

Okay. Next, it's five 1 00-yard runs to stretch out your legs.

-Can we just go home and play video games? -Look!

Everybody at Wingate is expecting you to be a star football player.

Don't wanna let them down, do you?

-l don't know. -What about Dad and Mom?

Because, you see, in our family, everyone's an athlete.

Dad was a basketball star. Collins plays volleyball and runs track.

And me, well, as you know, I do it all.

And Mom-- Well, Mom was a cheerleader...

. ..which doesn't exactly count, but don't tell her I said that. Okay?

-Okay. -Okay.

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

-Yeah. Fifty. MlCHAEL: Uhn.

SJ: Fifty-one.

Fifty-two. Fifty-three.

Come on, you can get him. Go, go, go! Come on!

Five seconds left in the game!

This way!

High knees, high knees, high knees! Speed kills, baby! Run like the wind!

[CHUCKLES]

Go, Michael, go!

Ninety-eight.

Ninety-nine.

One hundred.

Move your feet, move your feet! Come on, come on! Go!

-There you go. -Ahh!

SJ: You gotta get the tackle, come on, come on, come on!

Come on, Michael.

[GRUNTlNG]


Mrs. Tuohy?

I hear "Mrs. Tuohy," l look over my shoulder for my mother-in-law.

Call me Leigh Anne or Mama or almost anything else.

-Can you help me get something? -What?

Driver's license.

Why do you need a driver's license when you don't even have a car?

Michael, why do you want a driver's license?

It's something to carry with my name on it.

[COMPUTER BEEPS]

There's no one by the name of Michael Oher in the system.

Another last name, perhaps?

Look, l will sign something that says he lives with us.

We'll pay for all of the insurance. Whatever it takes. Okay?

What's it gonna take?

SEAN: You wanna do what? -You heard me.

-Shouldn't we at least talk about this? -What do you think we're doing?

And don't act like I'm going behind your back.

I know you put us down as Michael's medical contact at school.

There is a huge difference between paying for a broken arm. . .

. ..and being legally responsible for someone. l mean, a kid we barely know.

That's another thing. We need to find out more about his past.

He won't talk about it. He's like an onion. You have to peel him back a layer at a time.

Not if you use a knife.

What if we took him to a child psychologist or something?

-Do you really expect Big Mike to--? -Michael.

Do you expect Michael to lie on a couch...

. ..and talk about his childhood like he's Woody Allen?

I mean, Michael's gift is his ability to forget.

He's mad at no one and he really doesn't care what happened in the past.

You're right.

Excuse me? "You're right"?

How'd those words taste coming out of your mouth?

Like vinegar.

Well, at least promise me you'll think about it.

All right.

"All right, you'll think about it," or, "All right, we should do it"?

Is there a difference?

Just tell Gerald to hold on to the chiffonier and l will be by there after a while.

You know-- I gotta call you back. Bye.

Excuse me.

I'm not cutting, l'm just asking.

Let me tell you something. We have been sitting around here for over an hour. . .

. ..and when l look around and all I see are people shooting the bull and drinking coffee.

Who runs this place?

I'd have it in shape in two days, I can tell you that.

-l bet you would. How can l help you? -Oh, he was first.

-No, you go ahead. l think l wanna hear this. -Me too.

I do not appreciate the attitude.

Ma'am, now, you can tell me what you want. . .

. ..or l can make sure you wait here all day.

Now, how can l help you?

I would like to become a legal guardian.

Lord help that child.

There's very little on Michael. Most of his files have been lost.

-Well, what is in there? -A few case notes.

This one describes an incident where officers forcibly removed Michael...

. ..from Denise Oher's care when Michael was 7.

Quite a scene evidently. They had to split up the kids.

-And it's far from the worst. -Where is she? His mother?

I don't know. lf you find her, we got a heap more files we could add to.

Well, how many kids does she have?

Least a dozen, probably. lf not more.

With her drug-arrest record, my guess would be, she can't even remember.

Can l see that?

So we would need her permission, right?

No. Michael is a ward of the state. Just apply and get a judge to sign off on it.

So you would just give him away without even telling his mother?

MAN 1 : Check out this piece right here.

MAN 2: Yeah. MAN 1 : Damn, girl.

LElGH ANNE: Miss Oher?

Hi. Miss-- Miss Oher?

-You from the state? -No.

My name is Leigh Anne Tuohy, and your son...

. ..Michael, lives with me...

. ..and my family.

How is my boy? How's Big Mike?

He's fine. He's doing real well.

We might have some wine in the kitchen, if you....

Oh, no, no. That's real kind.

When did you last see Michael?

I don't know.

How many--? How many foster kids you got living with you?

Oh, l'm not a foster parent to Michael. We're just helping him out.

State don't pay you nothing?

No, no.

And you feed him and you buy him clothes too?

Well, when we can find them in his size.

You are a fine Christian lady.

Well, l try to be.

This all real nice, what you're doing. . .

. ..but don't be surprised if one day you wake up and he gone.

What do you mean?

He's a runner. That's what the state called him after they took him from me.

Every foster home they sent him to...

. ..he'd slip out the window at night and come looking for me.

No matter where l was, that boy would come find me, take care of me.

I've had some health problems.

Miss Oher, was Michael born under a different name?

Proctor. That was his daddy's last name.

Where is he?

-l ain't seen him since he left. -And when was that?

Week after Mike was born.

Do you happen to have his birth certificate?

It's all right. l'll figure it out.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Mrs. Oher, you'll always be Michael's mama.

Would you like to see him?

[VOICE BREAKlNG] No. Not this way.

It's Williams.

His last name's Williams.

Couldn't even remember who the boy's father is.


I checked out the new Madden. The colors are better, graphics brighter. lt's awesome.

Michael, we have something we'd like to ask you.

-What? -Well, Leigh Anne and l, we--

Well, we'd like to become your legal guardians.

What's that mean?

What it means is, is that we wanna know. . .

. ..if you would like to become part of this family.

Kind of thought I already was.

[LAUGHS]

[FAMlLY LAUGHING]

Well, all right, then.

Right here.

LElGH ANNE: You got a couple steps. SEAN: Better watch that big foot.

LElGH ANNE: One more.

One more. There you go.

All right. Take off the blindfold.

SEAN: Well? That's the one you wanted, isn't it? Heh.

Here. Here you go, go ahead. Take it for a ride. Go on.

SJ: Can l go too? -Yeah, but, Michael? Be careful.

Shotgun!

Whoo-hoo!

-He wanted a truck? -Well, Michael thinks he's a redneck.

SJ: Come on, Michael!

Okay. See, you're the ketchup, here at left tackle on the weak side.

The first play is simple. Gap.

Now, see, this just means that you're going to block whoever's in front of you. . .

. ..or on your inside shoulder, if you're not covered by a defender.

Now, l'll be the running back, and you show me what you're supposed to do.

Ready? Hike!

You'll block him. He'll hit him. Quarterback'll hand it off.

He gets the ball, and he takes off!

Open lane to the end zone. All there is to it.

What's going on here?

Blended spice just scored.

We were going through the playbook. Michael got moved to offense.

When you're done, put the players back in the spice cabinet. Thank you.

SJ: No problem.

Actually, Mom, we were kind of waiting for you.

You see, the new Madden game came out. . .

. ..and me and Michael were wanting to go get it.

-l can't, l've got a meeting in 1 0 minutes. -But he can drive.

He can drive us.

[YOUNG MC'S "BUST A MOVE" PLAYlNG OVER CAR STEREO]

SJ: Oh, yeah, that's what l'm talking about.

MlCHAEL: What you know about this? SJ: l know a lot about this.

-Show me something then. -l'll show you something.

-l'll start it. Follow my lead. -All right.

-You ready? -Yeah.

[RAPPING] Next day's function

[RAPPING] High-class luncheon

-Food is served -And you're stone-cold munchin'

-Music comes on -People start to dance

-But then you ate so much -You nearly split your pants

-A girl starts walkin' -Guy starts gawkin'

-Sits down next to you -Starts talkin'

-Says she wanna dance -'Cause she likes the groove

-So come on, fatso -And just bust a move If you want it You got it You want it Baby, you got it You want it You got it You want it Baby, you got it

[GLASS SHATTERlNG]

LElGH ANNE: This is not a $40,000 Oushak, Omid.

[PHONE RlNGING]

You're crazy, Leigh Anne.

The borders are different widths. They've been altered.

We'll give you 1 7, tops, all right? Hello.

[WOMAN SPEAKlNG lNDISTINCTLY OVER RADIO]

[SIRENS WAlLlNG]

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Ma'am, you can't get through.

Those are my kids. Those are my kids.

-Oh, my God. MlCHAEL: Please, God, let him be okay.

LElGH ANNE: Where are they?! MlCHAEL: I'm so sorry!

-Michael, are you okay? -l'm fine! SJ! Go help SJ!

I'm so sorry. So sorry.

MAN 1 : How are his vitals?

MAN 2: Excuse me, ma'am. -That's my son.

SJ. SJ, baby.

-Mama? -Yes, baby?

Do you think the blood'll come out of my shirt?

Yes, l think the blood will come out of your shirt.

MAN: An air bag deploys at 200 miles an hour.

Your son is too small to be in the front seat.

But he is okay, right?

Busted lip, bruised face. Usually when someone his size gets hit with a air bag...

. ..it's a fractured face, broken neck, maybe worse.

It's like the air bag was coming for him and changed direction.

It's probably defective or something...

. ..but your son's very, very lucky.

No, I did. l called the insurance, it's fine. lt's fine.

I'll talk to you later. I gotta go. Bye.

[SIGHS]

SJ's fine.

He is. He's actually enjoying all the attention he's getting back there.

Hey, Michael, could've happened to anyone, all right? lt's not your fault.

Honey, look at me.

Michael, what happened to your arm?

I stopped it.

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

TONY: Wide right! MAN 1 : Ready.

TONY: Let's go. MAN 2: We're going right, right, right!

-Roll three, roll three. TONY: Ready, set, go!

[PLAYERS GRUNTlNG]

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

Oher! You got 1 00 pounds on Collis and you can't keep him out of our backfield?

Hold your block until the whistle blows. Hold it!

All right, let's go!

What's with the camera?

Michael always does better when he sees what he's supposed to be doing.

MAN: Set, go!

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

-Holding. Left tackle. SJ: Michael! Come on.

Oher.

Come here, son.

If you're gonna hold him, hold him inside here, between the tits. You got it?

Will you look at me, son?

If you grab him outside here like this or with that horse-collar thing you just did. . .

. ..you're gonna get flagged and I'm gonna be pissed, you hear?

All right, let's go!

Baby, watch my stuff, all right?

SJ: Okay.

Well, at least he'll look good coming off the bus.

They'll be terrified till they realize he's a marshmallow.

Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.

Give me a minute, Bert.

-We're in the middle of a practice. -You can thank me later.

LElGH ANNE: Come here.

Michael. Remember when we first met and we went to that horrible part of town. . .

. ..to buy you those dreadful clothes?

I was a little scared. You told me not to worry, you had my back.

-You remember that? -Yes, ma'am.

And if anyone tried to get to me, you would've stopped them, right?

And when you and SJ were in that car wreck, what did you do to the air bag?

-Stopped it. -You stopped it. You stopped it.

This team is your family, Michael. You have to protect them from those guys, okay?

Listen.

Okay. Tony here is your quarterback, all right? You protect his blind side.

When you look at him, you think of me, how you have my back...

. ..how you have his. Okay?

All right, Tony, go back.

All right.

Oompa-Loompa here is your tailback. When you look at him, think of SJ...

. ..and how you'd never let anyone or anything hurt him. You understand me?

All right. Go back.

-Got it? -What about Collins and Mr. Tuohy?

Fine, they can be on the team too. Are you gonna protect the family, Michael?

-Yes, ma'am. -Good boy.

Now go have some fun.

[PLAYERS MURMURlNG]

Yelling at him doesn't work, Bert. He doesn't trust men.

In his experience, they pretend to care about you till they disappear.

Wanna run a play?

[ALL CHATTERING]

SJ, you're gonna wanna get this.

Okay.

Come on, Michael.

TONY: Ready!

Set, go!

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

-Yeah. -All right, Michael, come on.

TONY: Set, go!

-Whoo! Yes! Michael! COTTON: All right, way to go, O, way to go!

Ready! Set, go!

Yes!

That a boy.

MlCHAEL: You all right? MAN 1 : Hey, get over here. Let's go.

MAN 2: Come on, son!

Okay. What'd you say to him?

You should get to know your players, Bert.

He tested 98 percent in protective instincts.

I said you could thank me later.

It's later, Bert.

[MARCHlNG BAND PLAYING]

CROWD [CHANTlNG]: Milford! Milford! Milford!

So much for home-field advantage.

You ever see so many rednecks in one place?

NASCAR. Not even close.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

Crusaders! Get ready for 48 minutes of hell!

Look at that fat ass.

[PLAYERS LAUGH lNG]

Pay them back on the field.

Coming through. Hold on. Listen up! Listen up!

Don't let them get inside your head now. Keep your composure! You ready?

PLAYERS: Yeah! -All right, let's go, Crusaders!

[PLAYERS YELLING]

LElGH ANNE: Go, Wingate! -Let's go, Crusaders!

Michael!

Damn, that ain't fair. They got a big old black bear playing for them.

-What is this, a circus? -Right.

Eyes forward, SJ. Sticks and stones. Sticks and stones. Come on!

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

Go!

-All right, all right. Good start. -Nice.

MAN: Ready. PLAYERS: Break!

-Let's go, O! Let's go! PLAYER: Whoo!

Hey, you guys, look at this big buck we got right here! Whoo!

Coming after you! Coming after you!

You're all mine. All mine.

Ready, set, go!

Yeah!

Don't let him rip through, Oher! Come on, son.

Yeah! That's right, boy!

-All night long, fat ass! All night long! MAN: Good job.

I got you, boy! All night long. Whoo-hoo-hoo!

Now that's my boy.

It's all right, Michael.

-lt's all right. Come on. -Let's go.

Shake it off. Come on.

Here we go. Round two, baby, round two.

Ready!

-Set! -Switch! Switch!

PLAYER 1 : Got it! Got it! PLAYER 2: Go!

Whoo! Yeah!

Oher, don't let him get the inside gap on you. Come on. Use your head!

-What is Bert doing? Nothing. PLAYERS: Break!

PLAYERS: Break! -Hey, fat boy.

We're not done yet. All game long, boy. All game long!

PLAYER: Slot right, slot right.

Ready, set, go!

Pass, pass, pass!

Stop this-- Oh!

Whoo-hoo-hoo!

Yeah.

Why another pass, Bert?

Hey, where you going, fat boy?

You better stay off my field. You are not welcome here! This is my field!

-Sixty-six, get back to your own bench! -Bert! Be quiet. Bert!

[PHONE RlNGING]

Hello?

Enough with the trick plays, Bert. Run the dang ball.

You heard me. Run the dang ball. Run it!

Wait, did he just hang up the phone?

-No, I think he lost service. -He did not lose service.

-Whoo! DAD: Oh, that's my boy, Jimmy!

Number 66! Kicking that blue gum's ass.

Hey. Crotch-mouth.

Yeah, you. Zip it or I'll come up there and zip it for you.

Sticks and stones?

You know what, SJ, just turn forward.

Just pick up the camera and keep shooting. Come on.

PLAYER 1 : Push it, push it, push it!

PLAYER 2: And go!

Squeeze in!

Hah.

It's all right. All right, all right, we can come back from that.

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

Set, go!

PLAYERS: Break!

PLAYER: And go!

Come on!

MAN: Get him! -He's gone. He's gone.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-He's gotta shut that hole off. -No.

Unbelievable. Three plays. Three plays. What were we in, 4-3? Come on!

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

PLAYER 1 : Ready. PLAYERS: Break!

66: Whoo! That's right, biggie, me and you.

Me and you, biggie, one more time. Here we go.

Ready!

Set! Go!

All right, Bobby, cut back. Son, you gotta cut back, you gotta cut back.

-Come on. Let's go. Back to huddle. -You fat, black piece of crap.

Hey! Hey! Ref, are you gonna do something about this?

He just kicked my boy in the head and he cussed him!

Thank you.

Unsportsmanlike conduct, Wingate. Fifteen yards.

-What? -You shut up, you get another 1 5.

This young man plays for my team. My team!

And l will defend him like he's my own son against you. . .

. ..or any other redneck son of a bitch!

Don't worry, coach. l got your back.

[MURMURS]

Come here, son, come here.

-Try Gap. -Gap?

Gap.

All right. Gun rip, 47 Gap. On one, on one. Ready.

ALL: Break!

Your coach ain't here to protect you now, is he?

Ready!

LElGH ANNE: This team is your family, Michael.

TONY: Set!

Go!

[GRUNTlNG]

Cut back, cut back. Block him, Oher.

He's got a hole! He's got a hole!

-Get him, Michael. -SJ!

SEAN: Get him, Michael. Come on, go! LElGH ANNE: Run, Michael!

Go, go, go!

-Go, Mike! -Go, Michael!

Yeah, touchdown!

Hey! Hey! Touchdown!

[YELLS]

Ooh.

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

Yo! Deliverance!

You see number 74? Well, that's my son.

Way to go, bro! Ha-ha-ha.

Okay, here's what we got. Dead ball foul.

-Now what? Was he holding? -No.

-Did he hit after the whistle? -l don't believe so.

Then what was the flag for?

I don't know. Excessive blocking.

You're kidding me.

[GROANS]

Sorry, coach. l stopped when l heard the whistle.

Where were you taking him, Mike?

To the bus. lt was time for him to go home.

Attaboy, Michael Oher. Attaboy!

Go get them! Go get them, Crusaders!

TONY: Ready, set, go!

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

[CHEERlNG]

TONY: Ready, set, go!

[GRUNTS]

[WHlSTLE BLOWS]

-Whoo! -Whoo! Michael!

TONY: Set, go!

[GRUNTlNG]

Yeah!

Hey! Hey! Rub the head, rub the head. All right, let's go!

-Oh. -Tackle, over there.

Ready, set, go!

[GRUNTlNG]

Stay.

[GROANING]

Ready, 21 ! Ready, 21 !

Set!

Pull it!

[CHEERlNG OVER TV]

[MICHAEL GRUNTlNG OVER TV]

[TV CLICKS OFF]

[PHONE RlNGS]

Tom Lemming Recruiting, please hold.

Coach Saban wants his monthly recruiting updates FedExed.

Does he really think getting it one day early is gonna give LSU a leg up?

Hey, have you filled all the slots in the Army all-star game?

Yeah, why?

You might wanna open one up.

[PLAYERS YELLING AND CROWD CHEERING OVER COMPUTER]

Oh.

Wow.

[LAUGH lNG]

What did l tell you?

I want him. l want him bad.

ALL: Y-E-L-L, everybody yell. Say, everybody yell.

Y-E-L-L, everybody yell.

Nice kick this time, Collins. Nice job.

What in the world?

All right, y'all keep practicing. Remember, point your toes.

PLAYERS: One, two, three, one! One, two, three, two! One, two, three, three!

You gonna buckle up today, son?

Shoot, man, Fulmer's here. Might as well go home.

What do you say, fellas? Doing all right? Good to see everybody.

Came all the way from Knoxville to see for myself.

Heck, coach, we drove from Clemson, nine hours.

Coach Fulmer. lt's a real honor.

My pleasure. I've watched your program. You've done really well.

I don't think there's any question you'll be at the next level soon.

Oh, well, you know, we do what we can with what we've got.

Is that--? Is that Michael? Is that O'Hare?

It's Oher. Like a paddle in a boat. Oher.

You think we might see some drills, perhaps?

-l think all the coaches would appreciate it. -Oh, yes, sir. You bet.

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

Listen up, fellas! We're gonna do a board drill.

Big Mike, Jay Collis, best on best right here.

Let's go, come on, come on!

[PLAYERS YELLING]

On the whistle, men.

[BLOWS WHlSTLE]

[GRUNTlNG]

[CROWD YELLlNG]

Wow.

[PHONES BEEP]

Coach. Thank you.

-Where are you off to, coach? -Back to South Carolina.

You tell Michael Oher, if he can qualify with the grades, Clemson wants him.

Yeah, good luck with that, Brad.

You've done a great job with this young man.

He was a little raw when we first got him. . .

. ..but we've, you know, coached him up a little bit.

Where is that?

Well, make me guess.

Hello, Mama.

Did you know to be eligible for a Division l scholarship. . .

-. . .Michael will need to make a 2.5 GPA? -Really?

His ACT is low and l don't see it getting any better if he retakes it. Right there.

Well, what's his GPA now?

1 .76.

That's not bad when you consider where he started.

Well, he's gonna have to make all A's this year.

I'm serious. And that might not even be enough.

So he goes to a junior college.

Unh-uhn. Most inner-city kids that go to JC drop out in the first year.

And his shot at the pros would go out the window.

Pros? Are we even sure he's gonna get college offers?

NICK [OVER MACHINE]: Michael, Nick Saban from LSU.

Looking forward to you coming down and visiting.

LOU: Greetings, l'm Lou Holtz from South Carolina. I'm call--

MAN: We are very interested in having Michael over to Knoxville for a visit.

Phil Fulmer, Tennessee.

There's 20 more of them on there. And these things right here, 50 of them.

-Any of those from Ole Miss? -No.

They're not gonna start recruiting till they hire another coach.

Doesn't make any difference unless Michael makes his grades. Ahem.

What are we gonna do?

I understand you applied for a teaching position at Wingate.

I wasn't religious enough for them.

I'm a spiritual person, Mrs. Tuohy, but I have certain, shall we say, doubts.

Well, l appreciate your honesty, Miss Sue.

What's the situation with Michael?

-He needs to do better in school. -Obviously.

But why the big push?

Well, he's in line for a football scholarship if he gets his grades up.

-ls he considering Ole Miss? -Better be.

I'd love to work with him.

Well, when would you like to start?

Mrs. Tuohy, um, there's something you should know about me.

I don't usually tell many people...

. ..but it's something l feel you should be aware of before you hire me.

Uh-- What is it?

I'm a Democrat.

Okay.

-l don't understand it. -Yet.

You don't understand it yet.

How big is your head, Michael?

Big.

And what's in there?

-A brain. -A brain.

It's full of knowledge.

Like a file cabinet with maps, and shortcuts for figuring things out.

You'll get there, Michael Oher, because I'm here to help you use those maps. . .

. ..and reach your destination, like Sacagawea led Lewis and Clark.

Sacagawea?

We'll get to that. And the history books have it wrong.

All you need to know is l'll get you there.

Do you believe me?

You trust me, Michael?

Yes, Miss Sue.

Try it again.

What's the next one? Read that to me. Okay, what does it say?

First we have to find the constant. Now, where is the constant?

Good. See?

Who'd have thought we'd have a black son before we knew a Democrat?

[DOORBELL RlNGS]

LElGH ANNE: Doorbell! SEAN: I got it, guys.

Coach, how are you? Come in. Sean Tuohy.

-Nick Saban, nice to meet you. -Nice to see you. My pleasure.

I appreciate the opportunity to come in your home.

-This is my daughter, Collins. -Pleasure to meet you.

-And you must be Leigh Anne. -That would be me, Coach Saban.

-Nice to meet you. -You too.

Just call me Nick. This is an incredible home.

The Windsor valances are a nice touch.

Well, thank you. You obviously have excellent taste.

NICK: Well, we appreciate quality. . .

. ..and recognize it when we see it.

Michael, why don't you come in and say hello?

-Nick Saban. Nice to meet you. -Nice to meet you.

NICK: And you must be SJ. -That's me.

Michael, why don't you and Nick go into the living room and talk?

Can SJ come?

-Absolutely. We'll recruit the both of you. -All right.

I find him extremely handsome.

Yeah, l'm right here, Leigh Anne.

Yeah, l know.

NICK: So, Michael, we would love to get you down to LSU for a visit.

We've got a great thing going right now.

You have an opportunity to be successful as a person, as a student.. .

. ..and an opportunity to be a part of the next national championship team at LSU.

So, what do you say? Would you like to commit to a visit?

SJ: Can l ask a question? NICK: Sure.

My brother and l are very close, and so.. .

. .. l'm very afraid that if he goes off to school, I might not get to see him.

-So. ... -Go on.

I guess I was just wondering how much access I'd have to him.

NICK: Well, SJ, you would have total access to Michael.

But better than that, in his first game in Tiger Stadium. . .

. ..we would like for you to lead the team out of the tunnel.

-What do you think about that? -Sounds good.

[CROWD CHEERING]

[GRUNTlNG]

[DOORBELL RlNGS]

Come on in.

Greetings. I'm Lou Holtz from the University of South Carolina.

Leigh Anne Tuohy. Nice to meet you. Come on in. Michael?

Hello. I'm Tommy Tuberville, Auburn University.

Leigh Anne Tuohy. Nice to meet you. Michael?

-Houston Nutt, University of Arkansas. -Leigh Anne Tuohy. Nice to meet you.

-Ole Miss cup, huh? -Michael?

[SIGHS]

Oh, come on. You know this.

It's logical.

I guarantee, you come to University of South Carolina...

. ..it'll be the smartest decision you've ever made.

We want you, we need you, but the other thing is, Mike, you need us.

Ow!

Knoxville is a tremendous place to live and--

HOUSTON: l know there's Lions, there's Tigers, there's Bears.

Hey, there's only one Razorback in the world.

And not only that, you will look great in Gamecock red.

What's in it for me?

SJ, l'm gonna get you a hog hat and the whole family a hog hat.

Are you telling me that's the best you can do?

SJ, you remind me of me as a boy.

Coach, help me help you.

I can give you a Gamecock headdress, and with real feathers.

-What do you got for me, Phil? -l've been thinking a lot about that...

. ..and one of the things I think would be special.. .

. ..is we'll walk arm-in-arm to the center of Neyland Stadium in the first ball game. . .

. ..and do the coin toss together. How's that sound?

Coach Fulmer, it's a pleasure doing business with you.

My pleasure, CJ. You bet you, buddy.

[CROWD CHEERING]

[DOORBELL RlNGS]

Congratulations on getting hired.

Thank you, ma'am. Ole Miss is my dream job.

You're coming a little late to the party and we're diehard Rebels...

. ..so l'm gonna pretty much give you a road map.

-Got it. -LSU is out.

Everybody knows Saban's going to the NFL.

Don't wanna name names, but on Michael's first two trips. ..

-. . .somebody took him to a titty bar. -Terrible.

Tell me about it. He had nightmares for weeks.

So when he visits, I want you to feed him ltalian.

He likes fettuccine Alfredo. And take him to a movie.

Not Chainsaw Massacre because he'll just cover his eyes.

Then get him in bed by 1 0. Got it?

-Yes, ma'am. -All right.

-What about Tennessee? -Mm.

Breaks my heart, but they're still in the hunt.

Ahem. Fulmer made SJ a sweet deal.

-l hear that kid can really pepper the gumbo. -Hmm.

He's his daddy's boy. You ready?

-Let's do it. -All right.

ED: Mike, do you love barbecue? I tell you what, Mike.

You can go to a gas station and get the best barbecue you ever got.

It's a wonderful place to live.

Fried catfish, all the good food that we love to eat and that's not good for us. . .

. ..you can have it there, Mike, I promise you.

And for you, SJ, this is what I can do.

At Ole Miss, we have The Grove by the stadium.

We walk it before every game in front of thousands of people.

It's a sacred ritual. And l'm in front.

Seen it a thousand times.

Ever seen it from the front of the line? Next year, you and me, leading the team.

Tennessee offered to let me run on the field and flip the coin.

I'll throw in a sideline pass.

Have you decided yet, Michael?

No, Miss Sue.

But you like Tennessee?

Yeah. That's a good school.

Not at the academic level of Ole Miss. . .

. ..but they have a outstanding Science Department.

You know what they're famous for?

They work with the FBI . ..

. ..to study the effects of soil on decomposing body parts.

What's that mean?

Well, when they find a body, the police wanna know how long it's been dead.

So the fine folks at Tennessee help them out.

Oh, they have lots of body parts.

Arms and legs and hands.. .

. ..from hospitals and medical schools.

[CHUCKLES]

And do you know where they store them?

Right underneath the football field.

So while it's fine and dandy to have 1 00,000 fans cheering for you...

. ..the bodies you should be worried about are the ones right under the turf.

Set to poke up through the ground and grab you.

Well, it's your decision where you wanna play ball.

Don't let me influence you.

[APPLAUSE]

All the other teachers are on board. I don't know what your problem is.

I'm sorry. I will not give a student a grade he or she doesn't deserve.

Well, Michael needs a B.

What does he have to do to deserve that?

Right now Michael's doing C-minus, D-plus work.

His best chance at improvement is the written essay at the end of the year.

It counts for a third of the grade.

Well, that's it. We're sunk.

[GAME PLAYING ON TV]

Why don't you write about Great Expectations?

You're a lot like Pip.

I mean, he was poor. He was an orphan and someone kind of found him.

You should be able to relate to that.

Fine. We'll go through the reading list.

But you're gonna have to pick one, Michael.

Pygmalion.

A Tale of Two Cities.

"The Charge of the Light Brigade."

Half a league, half a league Half a league onward I love that one.

He loves it.

Why don't you do this? And l'll watch basketball.

SEAN: Okay.

All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

They named LSU's stadium Death Valley because of this story.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was writing about LSU-Ole Miss.

-You're kidding. -No.

-lt's a great story. -lt's a poem!

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"

That's like the offense.

"Charge for the guns," he said:

It's the end zone.

Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismay'd?

Not tho' the soldier knew Someone had blunder'd:

Someone made a mistake?

Yeah. Their leader.

Their coach.

But why would they go ahead if they knew he messed up?

Theirs not to make reply Theirs not to reason why Theirs but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

They're all gonna die, aren't they?

Yeah.

That's really, really sad.

I think you just found something to write about, Michael.

MlCHAEL: Courage is a hard thing to figure.

You can have courage based on a dumb idea or a mistake...

...but you're not supposed to question adults...

...or your coach or your teacher because they make the rules.

Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't.

It all depends on who you are, where you come from.

Didn't at least one of the 600 guys think about giving up...

...and joining with the other side?

I mean, valley of Death, that's pretty salty stuff.

That's why courage is tricky.

Should you always do what others tell you to do?

Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something.

I mean, any fool can have courage.

But honor, that's the real reason you either do something or you don't.

It's who you are and maybe who you want to be.

If you die trying for something important...

...then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good.

I think that's what the writer was saying.

That you should hope for courage and try for honor.

And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some too.

Kevin Lin.

[APPLAUSE]

-Good job. -Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.

Matthew Nichols.

-2.52. -Hmm?

Michael's final GPA. Got it off of Paul's computer.

He did it, Sean. He did it.

Wait a minute. You broke into the principal's computer?

Hmm?

Michael Oher.

[APPLAUSE]

[CHUCKLES]

GIRL: Michael.

Where in the world did you find a baby picture of Michael?

Scanned it off an Internet ad for a toddler boutique.

-Congratulations, Michael. MlCHAEL: Thank you.

SJ: Michael, up top!

[CHUCKLES]

Way to go, bro.

All right, that's enough.

Young man, l think l need a proper hug.

You're gonna be staying in Deaton Hall. Where is it?

It's 1 09. lt's right there.

You'll be on the meal plan so you'll be eating over here in Johnson Commons.

Johnson Commons, all-you-can-eat self-serve ice cream.

-Mm-hm. -As much as you want?

[PHONE RlNGS]

That's how Mama put on her freshman 1 0.

[CHUCKLES]

-Stop it. -Whew.

Hello.

This is Mrs. Tuohy.

They just wanna ask you a couple questions, Michael. You have nothing to hide.

Mrs. Tuohy? Mr. Oher? My name is Jocelyn Granger.

I'm the Assistant Director of Enforcement for the NCAA.

Please, call me Leigh Anne.

So let's do this, shall we?

If you wouldn't mind, I'd prefer to speak with Michael alone.

LElGH ANNE: And how long is that gonna take?

A while.

It's all right. lt's okay.

Go on.

Michael.

Michael. I'll be waiting for you in the lobby, all right?

LElGH ANNE: l don't know, Sean.

Just have a bad feeling about this one.

This woman is tough, tough, tough, tough, tough. Hold on.

Hey.

The client wants what?

Were you aware that Coach Cotton was accepting a job at Ole Miss?

No.

And that this job offer came after you signed with them?

Sean Tuohy, your legal guardian, went to Ole Miss.

He played basketball.

And Mrs. Tuohy went to Ole Miss as well.

She was a cheerleader.

Is it safe to say that Ole Miss is their favorite school?

Do they like any other universities? What about, say, Tennessee?

No, they can't stand Tennessee.

And your tutor.

-Miss Sue? -Miss Sue.

Miss Sue is an Ole Miss grad too.

Miss Sue ever try to persuade you to attend Ole Miss?

Did you know that the Tuohys make generous donations to Ole Miss?

That even Miss Sue makes donations?

That the Tuohys, they have a condo in Oxford.. .

. ..so they can attend as many athletic events as possible.

That in fact, both Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy are by our definition boosters.

Mr. Oher.

Do you understand? Do you know why l'm here?

To investigate?

Yes. To investigate.

I'm here to investigate your odd. . .predicament.

Do you find it odd, your predicament?

Michael.

I don't know.

-Can l--? Can l leave now? -No, you can't.

What do you want, ma'am?

-l want the facts. I need the truth. -l didn't lie.

-l wanna know what you think about this. -Think about what?!

The NCAA fears that with your recruitment. . .

. ..a door might be opened.. .

. ..that boosters from schools in the South...

. ..will become legal guardians of young athletes without means. . .

. ..and funnel them to their alma maters.

I'm not saying l believe it. I'm not saying l don't.

But there are many people involved in this case who would argue that the Tuohys. . .

-. . .they took you in, they clothed you. .. -No.

. ..they fed you, they paid for your private education.

-They bought you a car, paid for a tutor. . . -No. No.

. ..all as part of a plan to ensure that you play football for the University of Mississippi.

Michael? We're not finished.

The toile's not available, like l told you months ago.

So why don't we go with the ticking? The low nap. It's a beautiful--

I'll call you back. Bye. Michael. So, what happened?

-Why'd you do it? -What?

All along you wanted me to go to Ole Miss.

Well, of course I did. We love Ole Miss.

-Why'd you do this for me? -What?

Everything. Was it for you or was it for me?

Was it so I would go to school where you wanted?

Was it so I would do what you wanted?

-Michael, no, l-- -That's what she thinks.

Is she right?

Michael, honey, l need for you to just listen to me.

Don't you dare lie to me.

I'm not stupid.

Michael? Michael, of course you're not stupid, Michael. Mi--

I should've followed him.

You had no way of knowing he'd disappear.

Was he right?

What he said about us?

Leigh Anne, be reasonable.

We gave clothes to a boy who had one pair of shorts and we gave him a bed.

To hell with the NCAA. I would do it again tomorrow.

What about all the rest of it?

All the stuff we did to make sure that he got a scholarship.

A scholarship to Ole Miss.

He could go anywhere he wanted. He knew that.

Oh, did he? Did you ask him? Because I sure as hell know l never did.

Hey. Come here.

Yeah.

[SIGHS]

Am l a good person?

Not a joke.

Not rhetorical.

You are the best person that l know.

Everything you do, you do for others.

And why is that?

I have not a clue.

But you obviously get some sort of sick satisfaction out of it.

-Sean. -Yeah?

What if he never comes back?

[SIREN WAILlNG lN DlSTANCE]

Oh. Heh. Whoo!

Big Mike. Hey, get your ass on in here, man.

-l'm looking for my mama. -Your mama?

Yeah, l seen Dee Dee around.

As a matter of fact. . ..

Oh, yeah, she usually stop by for a taste around this time.

Look, l tell you what, why don't you just come on inside?

I'm gonna get you a 40, we gonna chop it up like real folk. Just until she get here.

Come on, now. Ain't nobody gonna bite you, baby.

Hey.

Hey, Big Mike, go on down there in the living room, man. Have a seat.

Liven this bitch up in here, y'all.

Give me a couple of 40s out that refrigerator.

-Sit down, man. -Big Mike, boy.

Damn, sure good to see you.

Yeah, you looking good too. You looking fit.

I heard you playing a little ball.

Y'all know that old rich-kid football ain't got nothing on that public-school league.

Niggas packing knives in they socks.

[LAUGH lNG]

Hey. I played a little ball myself.

-Back in the day. You knew that, right? -Yeah, I heard.

Little quarterback. Up there at MLK. Yeah.

Thank you, baby.

What about you, David? You still playing ball over at JC?

-Naw, br-- -No, man. David ain't with that no more.

He with me now.

As a matter of fact, look, I can open up a spot for you too.

I got tired of going to class. People always trying to tell me what to do.

Well, in that case, then, look here, turn that up right there, little-bitty bitch!

-Ha-ha-ha. -Bitty bitch!

Hey, man. l'm just messing with D, man.

Ahh. l heard you staying on the other side of town.

Yeah, that what Dee Dee said. Said you got you a new mama now. Yeah, man.

MAN: Hell, yeah. ALTON: She fine too.

Yeah, she fine. Mm-mm. Ooh!

Hey, she got any other kids?

She got a daughter?

You tap that?

[LAUGHS]

Yeah. Yeah, you tapped that, didn't you? Yeah.

Big Mike!

ALTON: Big Mike done got a little piece, y'all! He can't stand hisself now.

Hey, Big--

He done-- He done lost his mind.

Hey, where you going?

I'm gonna just go wait for Mama at the apartment.

[SCOFFS]

Hey, man. Just go on heading on.

Sit down. l'm just trying to find out a little bit about your fine white sister.

Because I likes me some of that mommy-daughter action.

Shut up.

"Shut up"?

Who in the hell is you telling to shut up?

I will bust a cap in your fat ass.. .

. ..and then drive east to pay a visit to your cracker-ass mama...

. ..and her sweet little daughter.

[GRUNTlNG]

[WOMEN SCREAMlNG]

Big fella.

[GUNSHOT]

[SCREAMS]

[BABY CRYlNG]

WOMAN: My baby!

You monster! Get out!

[SCREAMlNG]

-Mama! -Mama!

[MEN CHATTERlNG]

ALTON: He gone, snowflake.

Michael was here?

Yeah, but you tell him l'll be seeing him around. Oh, he gonna get his.

So Michael was here?

Last night. Gonna come by here and sneak me then run off.

Yeah. Tell him to sleep with one eye open.

You hear me, bitch?

No, you hear me, bitch.

You threaten my son, you threaten me.

You so much as cross into downtown, you will be sorry.

I'm in a prayer group with the DA. . .

. .. l'm a member of the NRA, and l'm always packing.

What you got in there, a .22? Or a Saturday Night Special?

[CHUCKLES]

Mm-hm. And it shoots just fine all the other days too.

[PHONE RlNGS]

-Michael? MlCHAEL: Mama?


MlCHAEL: You think the police are gonna come and get me?

LElGH ANNE: l imagine the last thing they want in Hurt Village. . .

. ..is a bunch of cops snooping around.

I swore l would never ask this, but how did you get out of there, Michael?

When I was little and something awful was happening. . .

. ..my mama would tell me to close my eyes.

She was trying to keep me from seeing her do drugs or other bad things.

And when she was finished or the bad things were over. . .

. ..she'd say, "Now when l count to three, you open your eyes.

The past is gone, the world is a good place, and it's all gonna be okay."

You closed your eyes.

You know, when l was driving all over kingdom come looking for you. . .

. .. l kept thinking about one thing.

Ferdinand the Bull.

I know l should've asked you this a long time ago, Michael.

But do you even wanna play football?

I mean, do you even like it?

I'm pretty good at it.

Yeah, you are.

Sean and l have been talking and. . .

. ..Michael, if you're gonna accept a football scholarship. . .

. ..we think it should be to Tennessee.

And l promise that l will be at every game, cheering for you.

-Every game? -Every game.

But l will not wear that gaudy orange. I will not.

It is not in my color wheel and l'm not gonna wear it.

So you want me to go to Tennessee?

I want you to do whatever you want.

It is your decision, Michael. It's your life.

What if I wanted to flip burgers?

It's your decision. lt's your life.

Okay.

Okay, what?

MlCHAEL: I'm sorry I left the other day.

You were pretty upset.

-You asked a lot of questions. -l'm just trying to get to the bottom of this.

But all the questions you asked. . .

. ..were about why everybody else wanted me to go to Ole Miss.

Okay.

Not once did you ask why did l wanna go there.

All right.

Fine, Michael. Why do you wanna go to Ole Miss?

Because it's where my family goes to school.

It's where they've always gone to school.

LElGH ANNE: College will be a different experience for you.

SJ, stop it.

-There's gonna be lots of distractions. -Have fun.

Always gonna be some nimrod in the dorm who wants to play video games all night...

. ..or fool around on the Internet.

Just have fun.

You'll be spending a lot of time at practice. . .

. ..which means you'll have to be very dedicated to your studies, all right?

SJ, if you don't stop it right-- Come here.

Relax, Mama.

I just got back from the library. l reserved a private cubicle for the semester.

Here's your class schedule and our study-hall hours.

Now, if y'all don't mind, I'm gonna go move into my new apartment.

-Thank you, Miss Sue. FAMlLY: Thank you, Miss Sue.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah. LElGH ANNE: Let's see what you got.

College Writing, good. Psychology, Math Lab, which is gonna be good--

-Hi. LElGH ANNE: Well, you know why.

A lot of good classes.

-You gonna have a lot of fun. COLLlNS: SJ!

Michael Oher, you listen to me, all right?

I want you to enjoy yourself, but if you get a girl pregnant out of wedlock...

. .. l will crawl in the car, drive up here to Oxford, and l will cut off your penis.

She means it.

-Yes, ma'am. -All right.

[SIGHS]

Well, the 78's gonna be a parking lot so we should get going.

I want everyone to say their goodbyes, all right? Here. Bye, baby.

MlCHAEL: Thank you, Mama. -You're welcome.

[CAR ALARM CH lRPS]

Why does she always do that?

She's an onion, Michael. You have to peel her back a layer at a time.

Be right back.

What?

What, Michael?

I need a proper hug.


LElGH ANNE: I read a story the other day about a boy from the projects.

No daddy, in and out of foster care.

He'd been killed in a gang fight at Hurt Village.

In the last paragraph, they talked about his superb athletic skills...

...and how different his life might've been...

...if he hadn't fallen behind and dropped out of school.

He was 21 years old the day he died.

It was his birthday.

That could have been anyone.

It could've been my son, Michael.

But it wasn't.

And l suppose I have God to thank for that.

God and Lawrence Taylor.

One Mississippi.

[CROWD CHEERING]

The New England Patriots have traded the 23rd pick to the Baltimore Ravens.

And with the 23rd pick in the 2009 NFL draft. . .

. ..the Baltimore Ravens select Michael Oher, offensive tackle, Mississippi.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

[INAUDIBLE DlALOGUE]


[ENGLISH SDH]