When The Blind Side came out in late 2009, I didn’t run right out and see it because I assumed it was just a “football movie.” But then the requests for photos of the Tuohy house from the movie started pouring in, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her role as Leigh Anne, and my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what all the fuss was about–and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
The Blind Side was filmed on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which doubled for Memphis, Tennessee. The house used for the Tuohy family was a private residence in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood.
The movie was based on the true story of the Tuohy family, who took in a homeless teenager named Michael Oher when he had nowhere else to go. Thanks to their help and encouragement, he became a successful football player.
According to the production notes, this house was chosen because it reflects Leigh Anne Tuohy’s style and the look of her own home.
Production Designer Michael Corenblith says, “Leigh Anne was phenomenally gracious and opened her home to our set decorator Susan Benjamin. Susan spent two days with the family, which allowed us to emulate Leigh Anne’s decorating style.”
In the movie, Leigh Anne laments that Michael has ruined this $10,000 couch by sleeping on it night after night (doesn’t it look a little small for someone that big to lie down on?):
Michael and S.J., the youngest Tuohy, meet with one of many recruiters in the living room:
Looking from the living room into the entry hall and up the staircase:
Leigh Anne walks through the upstairs hallway:
When they decide that Michael will live with them permanently, Leigh Anne clears out the guest bedroom for him. He tells her this is the first bed he’s ever had of his own.
The Master Bedroom and Bath:
Their bedroom reminded me a little too much of a standard hotel suite–an upscale hotel, to be sure, but a little impersonal and stiff:
I thought Tim McGraw was perfect in the role of Sean Tuohy.
Looking from the bathroom down the hall to the bedroom:
I wish we could’ve seen more of the kitchen, but most scenes filmed in it were close ups that made it hard to get a clear view behind the characters they were focusing on.
The Family Room (where one TV is not enough):
The Dining Room:
In designing the sets, Production Designer Michael Corenblith says he wanted to emphasize the disparity between East Memphis, where wealthy families like the Tuohys live, and the poverty of Hurt Village, where Michael grew up on the other side of town.
The exclusive Atlanta International School and The Westminster Schools, also located in Buckhead, doubled as the private Wingate Christian School in the movie.
Linda of Silver Screen Surroundings was way ahead of me on this one. She wrote a post about the decor in the movie months ago and, as a designer, has some more detailed information and thoughts on the decor itself that you can read here.
Most people seemed to love this house (based on the number of requests I got for it), but it looked a little too much like a model home to me. A little impersonal. I did, however, feel like it fit the characters, and it worked for the story it was telling. What did you think?
The Real Tuohy family, shown at the end of the film:
Can I just add that I love Sandra Bullock? She was so good in this movie. If you missed it, check out the photos of the Gothic Victorian she just moved into with her new baby boy.