Dreams do come true. Just ask Sandra Bullock. Earlier this month the reigning queen of the romantic comedy prized the golden Oscar statuette out of Meryl Streep’s hands for her role in this life-affirming true story.

Based on the book The Blind Side: Evolution Of A Game, the film sees Bullock delivers an eye-catching turn as a crusading southern mom, reminiscent of Julia Roberts’s Oscar- winning theatrics in Erin Brockovich.

She is spunky and sassy, snaffles all of the best lines and manages to make even the sappiest lines in writer-director John Lee Hancock’s manipulative script ring true.

On this side of the Atlantic, where American football isn’t a religion, the underlying tale of sporting triumph against the odds doesn’t quite score an emotional touchdown.

However, The Blind Side wears its heart on its shoulder padding for the entire 128 minutes and eventually the gosh darn wholesomeness of the characters, pulling together for a common cause, wins us over.

Leigh Anne Touhy (Bullock) is a fervently Christian housewife in Memphis, Tennessee, who enjoys a privileged life with her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) and children Lily (Lili Collins) and SJ (Jae Head).

Driving home one night, Leigh spots one of the youngsters’ classmates – Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) – wandering along the road and offers the homeless, black teenager a roof for the night.

The matriarch takes pity on Michael and offers him a room and encourages the lad to improve his grades and chase the possibility of an American football scholarship.

“Do you want to stay, Michael?” asks Leigh Anne.

“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” he says, touched by the kindness of these strangers.

However, Michael’s abusive past haunts him and he returns to the housing project where he grew up to try to track down his mother, running into trouble.

He soon realises the well-dressed lady from the other side of the tracks is more than capable of taking care of herself.

“If you so much as set foot downtown you will be sorry,” she threatens. “I’m in a prayer group with the DA, I’m a member of the NRA and I’m always packing!”

Inspired by a true story, The Blind Side tugs every heartstring and ticks off every cliché, including a saccharine moment when one of Leigh Anne’s friends gushes ‘you’re changing that boy’s life’ and she responds ‘no, he’s changing mine’.

Yet, predictable as it may be, Hancock’s film gets under our skin, captained by Bullock’s hugely entertaining lead performance.

Aaron is instantly likeable and Head is a little scene-stealer, along with Kathy Bates, who makes the most of her slender role as the tutor who helps Michael to improve his grade point average.