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Have You Seen “The Blind Side”?


“The Blind Side,” a film based on the true life account of an upper middle class woman (Sandra Bullock) who helps homeless teen Michael Oher get an education and eventually play football for the Baltimore Ravens, is going strong in theaters. The feel-good film has been out for a month and was still No. 3 at the box office as of last weekend.

The movie features actress Maria Howell as a “social worker,” according to this Charlotte Observer article . The Internet Movie Database lists Howell’s role as “Child Protection Service Welfare Worker.”

“The Blind Side” addresses many issues social workers handle, including homelessness, education, drug addiction and child neglect.  That leads to our questions:

Q: Have you watched “The Blind Side”? How do you feel about the film’s portrayal of a social worker and issues social workers handle? 

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  1. I saw “The Blind Side” this weekend. I hope to read the book as well. I enjoyed the movie very much. At first when I read the question posed about the movie’s portrayal of a social worker I had thought right away about everything Sandra Bullock’s character did in the movie. I don’t even recall there being a social worker or anything like that in the movie. Everything that Ms. Bullock does to help the child screams social work and social services. I think that if there was another peson who was supposed to be a real social worker- supposedly Maria Howell’s character- I’m not sure who that was in the movie. The only person I can think of seemed more like a lawyer. In that case, I would say that the person did not portray social work very well.

  2. I really hated how the homeless teen was treated like a stray dog.
    The portrayal of the social workers were mostly incidental. It did make me cringe when the foster care worker just handed over the casefile to the adoptive/foster mom.

  3. I am not sure there were any social workers portrayed in the movie. The case worker was not identified as a social worker – but he certainly appeared burned out, ineffectual and unprofessional. The film is based on a true story, so, even if we are dismayed by the boy’s portrayal as a victim and the family that embraced him as the Caucasian saviors, it did happen – and the boy was truly just drafted by the Falcons (actually the Baltimore Ravens) I believe. Hollywood loves a heart-warming, true success story.

  4. I have to agree with the comments made so far. Any portrayal of a social worker in the movie was incidental, because incidentally I didn’t notice any. :o) The movie as a whole was very enjoyable and definitely a “feel good film”. Hey, who wants to spend $16 on tickets and not feel good? lol
    One part of the movie that I was pleasantly surprised about, is when Sandra Bullock’s character was “accused” of doing everything she did for Michael Oher in order to produce an NFL football player, she did not immediately dismiss that criticism. She considered it, spoke to her husband about it and was introspective about it. The movie was a pleasant deviation from most of today’s news reports and sports stories. This viewer says it’s worth your time and worth your money.

    E. A. Wahrburg, MSW, LCSW (NC, NY)

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