The Blind Side Will Open Your Eyes

The Blind Side, without being too didactic (at least not beat-you-over-the-head-level-sermonizing) about it, is a cinematic manifesto expounding the Golden Rule. It inspires non-cynical viewers (and even cynics like me, willing to suspend their cynicism for one hour and forty-five minutes) for all the right - if only mildly trite - reasons. Universal reasons like Good overcoming Evil. Compassion conquering Redneck Racism. Sacrificial, beyond-the-call-of-duty, Hospitality, trumping pampered self-interest and indifference to a pulp, even as it undermines the movie's matriarch's (played Oscar-marvellously by Sandra Bullock) standing in high-falutin', Southern high society.

The Blind Side is about a wealthy, entrepreneurial, and loving family that opens it home, er, mansion, to an abandoned, neglected, near-mute young man, Michael. Michael's near-mute because of his sickening-to-consider, family losses: No Mom, no Dad, no nothing. Michael is big and athletic, with "protective instincts," which is about all he's got going for him. Turns out, along with his big heart, that's all he'll need. And a tutor. And a football coach willing to let (or maybe he didn't have a choice) Michael take some unsolicited, on-the-field and in-your-face "coaching" from his "Mom," Sandra Bullock.

Feel-good cliches gallore? But of course. Am I complaining? No. Because The Blind Side will open your eyes. It will.

Do the bad guys on the football field and their foul-mouthed denim-vest clad Dads in the high school stands get their collective, beer-gutted and bigoted asses smacked without the good guys having to throw a single punch? Hmmm. Could be. Wouldn't be a family friendly, heartwarming football flick without it, would it? Will you cry? You just might!

Remember Rudy? Remember the Titans?

Hell yes I do, and I think The Blind Side, a decade out, will be remembered fondly alongside them. And the story of Michael ("Big Mike") - homeless at seventeen and in the NFL at twenty-two - is a true story too, as well as a courageous young man's dream come true.