On the gateway outside the Memphis prep school where so much of "The Blind Side" happens, there is a quote from Jesus (Matthew 19:26): "With God all things are possible."
Indeed. Maybe even an Oscar for Sandra Bullock.
Right now, Bullock seems poised to be named best actress when the 24 statuettes are handed out Sunday. Long one of Hollywood's more popular players, Bullock is also a major star, especially if one gauges stardom by box-office numbers: Among her competition, Helen Mirren, so strong in "The Last Station," has made movies with a cumulative gross of about $630 million. Bullock's figure is $1.6 billion.
Of course, it isn't Mirren whom Bullock has to worry about. It's Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia"), whose performance as Julia Child seems as beloved as Julia Child herself. The ever-aging academy membership also knows who Streep is.
This is an advantage not necessarily held by the two younger actresses in the mix, Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious").
But Bullock also has tapped into something this year that has gotten a response across the demographic board - a $250-million response, at last count.
As Leigh Anne Tuohy - rich, white, Republican, gun-toting, outspokenly Christian - Bullock does everything right: When she meets Big Mike Oher (Quinton Aaron), a massive, homeless, athletically gifted teenager, she immediately brings him home, clothes him, feeds him and sees that he gets into her children's school. It is, we are told repeatedly, the Christian thing to do. And, of course, it is - although not exclusively, which seems what the movie would have you believe.
Dramatically speaking, Bullock's performance doesn't seem to have more than a couple of dimensions; Eva Longoria does much the same thing every week on "Desperate Housewives," and Julia Roberts did exactly the same thing in "Erin Brockovich" - which, not coincidentally, won her an Oscar.