I LOVED both the book and the movie but they were different in many aspects. Here’s what they had in common…
Michael Oher came along at the perfect time in the evolution of the Left Tackle position in professional football. His size alone made him appealing to college coaches and his athletic ability made him a top star recruit. But to get there he needed help. Born to a mother who had drug problems and too many kids to keep track of, Oher had nowhere to go until a friend’s father got him into the Christian high school on the privileged side of Memphis. After a rocky, homeless start Oher finds a family and a career.
The Story/Plot The book had a lot of football history and the movie skipped over it, but I don’t think the movie suffered in the least for not showing why the Left Tackle position became so important. The plot was similar but the movie skipped over some really interesting stuff, like how complicated it was that Oher didn’t know his real name, that he really lived with rotating families for quite awhile, and how he really got his GPA high enough for the NCAA (it was NOT just hiring a tutor!). I also enjoyed getting to know more about the make up of Memphis in the book. Thumbs Up- Book
The Visual I’ll be honest, for the most part, this category is really for the movie to lose. I mean how often is the writing so beautiful and the screen so hideous that the book would be better? But it happens. Sometimes with movies like this, where there isn’t really anything special about the sets and the only thing that gives it a leg up is a favorite actor (Sandra Bullock). I don’t know, I’m calling this a tie. Thumbs Up- Tie
Characters vs. Actors I love Sandra Bullock and thought her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy was fantastic as was Quinton Aaron’s as Michael. My biggest quibble is that Leigh Anne was a cast player in the book, often taking a back seat to husband Sean and, well, that’s not how the movie played it. Both were entertaining, only one was truly accurate. I did LOVE seeing all of the real college coaches make an appearance in the movie, so for that reason alone I’ll call this one a draw. Thumbs Up- Tie
The Ending It’s hard to mess with the awesome story of Michael Oher since his is a true rags to riches story. The problem is that the movie wrapped it up with a nice little bow at the end, but it didn’t need it. The movie could have accurately portrayed the book (leaving out the dry football parts) and been just as good. The movie didn’t change the story, but it wasn’t really complete either. Thumbs Up – Book
And the winner is…the book!!! This was my toughest one yet because I loved both so much. I don’t think you can really go wrong.
Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd) (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)