Sandra Bullock is a favorite of mine. I don’t know why exactly. It’s not like I know her. Like you, I know her on screen. But I like to root for her.
On Thanksgiving, she did the hardest thing ever in her career: She beat the vampires of “Twilight: New Moon.” Her likable new film, “The Blind Side,” finished at No. 1, just a couple of gleaming jagged teath above “New Moon.” (The latter is back to no. 1 of this afternoon.)
Not only did Sandy (that’s what I’m going to call her) top the vampires, she beat herself and her naysayers. The reason: “Blind Side,” from Warner Bros., has already made more than $60 million in eight days. (It’s up to $76.3 through this morning.)
On the other hand, a truly terrible Bullock film, “All About Steve,” from 20th Century Fox, has made only $33.8 million in 82 days. That movie got such bad reviews — and Sandy produced it! — that some reviewers were saying her party was over.
In fact, 2009 has been a pretty good year for Sandy Bullock. In June, her first release of the season, “The Proposal,” was a blockbuster. Co-starring with Ryan Reynolds (in maybe his best performance so far, too), Bullock pulled in a whopping $164 million in the U.S. in about 65 days. Its total worldwide boxoffice is almost $300 million. The Disney/Buena Vista release is a natural, too, for one or two sequels.
Consider this: Sandy’s generational competitor, Julia Roberts, has never had a year with two hits like “Proposal” and “Blind Side.” And certainly not after two decades or more in the business!
What did the Disney and Warners people know that Fox didn’t? The movie has to be “All About Sandy” — not Steve or anyone else. She has to play sophisticated yet vulnerable. Her big brown eyes have to suggest empathy. And the other characters have to like her. In “The Proposal,” for example, there’s talk that Bullock’s character has been difficult and self-centered, but that was all off screen. On screen, all we see is a nice girl trying to survive. Just like in her biggest hit, “While You Were Sleeping.”
She won’t win any Oscars this year, but never say never. (Attention, Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman: Let her present this year at the Oscars, at least.)
Sandra Bullock (and please, Sandy, stay away from the plastic surgeons and dermatologists) is a player, and she’s here for keeps. Hope, as they say, floats.
P.S. Check out her very good cameo as Harper Lee in Doug McGrath’s extremely underrated Capote movie, “Infamous.”