Amanda Mae Meyncke June 19, 2009
Sandra Bullock has made a career out of providing solid entertainment to the people, whether she’s getting laughs as a hilarious yet lonely career girl or playing a serious role fraught with emotional complexity. Bullock has long possessed a mysteriously familiar quality, all at once the girl next door as well being a true beauty. Never afraid to tackle a difficult role, Bullock has been blessed with a multitude of opportunities to prove her mettle, and that she has, time and again. And though her cinematic history is a list comprised of hit-or-miss, she retains her A-List status with ease. So without further ado, here’s our top five for Sandra Bullock.
src="http://i.realone.com/assets/cs/201/03751201.jpg" alt="Two Weeks Notice" width="100" height="150" align="left" hspace="6"/>5. Two Weeks Notice
Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are at their comedic best when playing themselves well. Hugh Grant’s George Wade is a rich yet likable tycoon who bluffs and charms as Bullock plays neurotic yet stable lawyer and best friend, Lucy Kelson. Eventually the stress proves too much for her, and she hands in the titular two weeks notice, yet the two seem drawn to one another no matter their differences. Grant here is just as affable and roguishly handsome as ever, blundering his way through romance and life, as Bullock must trail behind him, a witty and idealistic free spirit in a corporately controlled world. Though the film has some script problems that fail to truly entice, the main attraction as always is the interaction between two people so perfectly matched as Bullock and Grant. Their chemistry is incredible, and Bullock has her role down by now — slightly lonely career woman who needs her life shaken up. Over all, Sandra Bullock manages to look cute and put together, and come across as clever and intelligent as she navigates what could be a prosaic and formulaic film.
src="http://i.realone.com/assets/mz/dvd/09/247609.jpg" alt="Two Weeks Notice" width="144" height="209" align="left" hspace="6"/>4. Crash
Though it may be hard to call this a top Bullock film since it features an ensemble cast, it’s worthy of inclusion given Bullock’s ability to conquer a serious, emotionally complicated role. Bullock plays a wealthy white woman who experiences a carjacking at the hands of two African-American men, and is immediately left terrified and scarred, trusting no one. Her capacity to handle the predominantly racist role with the proper emotions — not only the glossy veneer of contempt but the fear, paranoia, and uncertainty — made for one of the more uncomfortable performances in a film of heartbreaking performances. Her eventual realization of her own inherent racism, and her redemption, could have been played heavy-handed, yet she navigated the role with delicacy and grace, leaving us surprised and wanting more serious work from Bullock. Sadly, her next few attempts left much to be desired, as a thriller, a time-travel film, and a turn as beloved author Harper Lee all failed to please audiences. Though she’s proven her abilities as a dramatic actress, comedic forays remain her strong suit, and we wait excitedly for her eventual return to darker fare.
src="http://i.rollingstone.com/assets/rs/115/76615/images/00110745.jpg" alt="Speed" width="115" height="115" align="left" hspace="6"/>3. Speed
Perhaps the first time a young Bullock came to the attention of the American public, and in one of the finest action movies ever made. Bullock is startling as Annie, a young woman who must drive a bus that is being controlled by a maniacal killer, as Special Agent Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) attempts to save everyone on the bus before time runs out. Bullock seems quite young in this film and is utterly convincing as a panicked and frightened woman who must assist Reeves in keeping the people on the bus alive, though the chances of survival seem bleak. The temptation here would be to play the role overly-expressive, and yet Bullock holds back as best she can and is able to portray hidden strength with ease. Perhaps not many people can remember this film but for the explosions and tremendous ending, but Bullock established herself here as a solid and worthwhile actress. Though a failed sequel would leave much to be desired, the original film is heart-pounding, fascinating, and the picture-perfect definition of a thriller.
src="http://i.realone.com/assets/mz/dvd/61/242261.jpg" alt="Speed" width="144" height="209" align="left" hspace="6"/>2. Miss Congeniality
Perhaps Miss Congeniality allowed Bullock to perform at her best. As FBI agent Gracie Hart, Bullock shone as an undercover beauty queen contestant alongside the fantastically fun Michael Caine and the charmingly attractive Benjamin Bratt. Here, Bullock is able to transform from gangly and gawky to bombshell, yet maintains her awkwardly adorable personality despite her glamorous exterior. Bullock is no stranger to physical comedy or sight-gags, as she falls repeatedly, snorts with laughter, and even at one point dons traditional German garb to play a series of water glasses as her talent. Bullock’s awkward attempts to woo a flirty Bratt are sweet in their familiarity, though even in her ugly duckling phase Bullock is still gorgeous. Her incredulity and insecurities, while mostly unfounded, are very relatable and heartwarming. All in all a hilarious comedy with a heart of gold, the cameos and supporting characters all work in glorious tandem with a spot-on Bullock to deliver a near-perfect film.
src="http://i.rollingstone.com/assets/rs/83/711070/images/182283.jpg" alt="While You Were Sleeping" width="180" height="180" align="left" hspace="6"/>1. While You Were Sleeping
The quintessential romantic comedy introduced us to Bullock as you might know her best, the pretty, intelligent girl next door, always there with a smile and a quip. When Lucy (Bullock) saves the life of a handsome stranger, Peter (Peter Gallagher), and he enters a coma, she becomes accidentally involved with his family. As she begins to fall in love, will she choose the man she’s loved from afar or his brother, the quiet but strong Jack (Bill Pullman) she’s come to know? Bullock is sweet as a solitary woman with very little in her life, who finds herself with more family than she can bear to part with, though the circumstances that brought them together are based on a misunderstanding. Though there are many mid-nineties clichés, from the clothing to the language, the heart of While You Were Sleeping is good through and through as Bullock attempts to walk the line between who she has been and who she wants to be. There are so many wonderful moments, from the wild and immense family that accepts and welcomes the lonely Lucy with open arms at Christmastime, to the strange web of complicated lies that become more absurd and necessary as time goes on. While You Were Sleeping is an honest, patient, and loving film that pits the slow charm of Bill Pullman against the witty banter of Sandra Bullock to enormous success.
We’ve made our picks, now what say you, readers? Do you prefer a serious Bullock or a slapstick approach? And what are your top five? Let us know in the comments below.
Categories: TVTags: Crash, Sandra bullock, Speed, Top five films, Two weeks notice