Film Icon | From a Plucky FBI Agent with Heart to a Protective Mother, Spotlighting Sandra Bullock

Monday, October 3, 2011

Earlier this year, Charity posted a blog about Colin Firth and his many accomplishments in film. I thought her post was a really fun read and so decided to copy-cat that idea – to some extent. My reason is different than hers, but nevertheless, for this publication, I’ve decided to spotlight Sandra Bullock. 

Film Icon | From a CIA Spy without a Memory to a Teller of Fairy Tales, Spotlighting Matt Damon

She is one of the most recognizable faces in American cinemas. Not only does she have a natural grace and poise, but her easy comedic tendencies make her one of the most respected actress’ in Hollywood today. So without further ado, here is just a handful of her starring roles in a loooong, rambling post "celebrating" this actress' roles… don't say I didn't warn you. *grin*

Probably the very first movie I saw with Sandra Bullock was While You were Sleeping (1995). Seeing it stemmed from my older cousin owning the VHS tape, and the fact that it was one of the few romantic-comedies my mom was okay with me watching as a young girl. In it, Sandra (or “Sandy” as she is commonly called) is a subway token-booth girl who develops a serious crush on a regular only to save the guys life and then later be overheard by a nurse that she was going to “marry” the dude. This leads to all sorts of complications when the stranger’s family thinks Lucy is their son’s fiancĂ©e – and they begin grilling her about his quirks. The movie isn’t all that thought-provoking, but I do find it really infectious. Sandra is very likable and relatable in the role. She gives it a simple girl-next-door likability that isn’t lost on the audience.

Following up what many might proclaim her “real” break-out role in While you were Sleeping was In Love & War (1996), a melodramatic look at an affair Ernest Hemingway had with an older nurse named Agnes during WWII. This was one of those DVD’s I bought in the bargain bin (haven’t we all dug through those? Yikes: just think of all those germs!). I think I went into it with some expectations. After all, not only did I love its leading lady, but I also think Chris O’ Donnell is a first-rate actor. Most of that optimism going into this quickly dissipated because I truly detest this movie.  No one is really likable, although I do admire Agnes for doing the right thing in the end – goodness, but Hemingway was a jerk!

Ah, Miss Congeniality (2000)! Really, what more can be said for the movie that made Sandy the star that she is today!?  Here, she is at the top of her game; she made everything look so easy while endearing herself as America’s sweetheart – and embracing a kind-of girl-power role in a very entertaining movie. In this role, she plays a tough-as-nails, tomboy federal agent who wouldn’t recognize a tube of mascara if it hit her squarely in-between the eyes. But, oh dear, she just happens to meet all of the credentials to go undercover at a beauty pageant (like every other female agent was unavailable. Yeah, o.k., whatever!). Let the fun begin!

The one flaw in Two Weeks Notice (2002) is its leading man. (I am sorry Hugh Grant but your tendency to mumble through each role has done nothing to make you one of my favorite actors.)  In all other respects, the movie is a lot of fun. Here, Sandra plays a pro-bono lawyer (and yet another character named Lucy) who only wants to take on cases that she firmly believes in – she is determined to save the world. Through a series of events, she winds up working as a personal assistant for George, a charming billionaire. Miss Bullock plays a convincing lonely workaholic, whose only real source of “fulfillment” is at work. One of best moments is when she tells off George after he calls her out of a wedding with a dire situation – after all, picking out the right tie to wear with a suit is important stuff.

Obviously, this is the follow-up (as if the title doesn't give it away) to the smash hit five years earlier. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005) is actually unique all on its own and can stand up for itself without relying too much on its prequel. (Likely in part this is due to the fact that Gracie gets dumped in the first five minutes of the movie.) Sandra reprises her role as FBI agent Gracie Hart and the laughs are just as many as the first go-round. For her latest undercover mission, Gracie is paired with a cynical straight-laced female agent played by Regina King. The two of them get into more mischief than one would think possible. (And if you are wondering about Gracie’s get-up, well, you really have to see it on-screen. *grin*)

This movie, The Lake House (2006) is the one that my aunt proclaimed was strange. I merely shrug my shoulders at her idea of a good movie as I happen to love this film. True, the story is somewhat unconventional, but nevertheless it becomes a “classic” love story. Sandra’s character is a dedicated doctor living in present-time who moves to a uniquely built lake house. When she discovers a letter in her mailbox, she begins writing to the man only to eventually realize he is living two years in the past. So much about this movie is great. From the pretty, stark scenery to the rare and all-too-few scenes between Sandra and Keanu Reeves, the film is top-notch.

Premonition (2007) is only the second of this star’s works that I dislike. Perhaps even that is too “strong” of a word. I mean, I did “like” it but not as well as I’d have wanted. It tells a story about a couple who are having marital problems only Linda (Bullock) learns on an otherwise normal morning that her husband has just been killed in a car wreck. She then literally relives that day for the next week, always hoping to change its outcome. The acting is phenomenal if I remember correctly (I’ve only seen it once) but I just cannot get past the storyline. On one hand, you have to admire the script because it chose a “different” route, but on the other, I am allowed to detest the outcome of Linda’s nightmare-ish day. Its alternate ending is really quite creepy and all I can say is, the fact that the writers chose a less-morbid conclusion following a morbid event was in the movies best interests. 

As many of you probably already know from my movie review of a couple weeks ago, The Proposal (2009) is possibly my favorite rom-com. I won’t reiterate much about this movie here, since you either have already or can read all about it in my review, but suffice to say, Sandra shines in this light-hearted comedy. (And, the chemistry between she and co-star Reynolds is wonderful.)

The Blind Side (2009): what a role. This was toted to be one of 2010’s best and while it was, I also didn’t think it was as emotional or inspiring as reviewers and commentators built it up to be. Based on a true story, Sandy is flawless in her role as the mother of two children who attend school with a social outcast. Her heart touched by the boy no one cares about, Leigh Anne reaches out to him and eventually the family welcomes him as a part of their affluent family. This was the one role that won Sandra Bullock an Oscar for “best actress,” and it was the one role that she like deserved nothing less: it was very well-deserved. (Watch for my review posted here soon.)

At some point or another probably most if not all of these movies will end up reviewed here. Not all of her films are my very favorites but with exception to the one or two I have listed here, I love each of the roles she plays in these movies. She has an unmistakable commend of the screen in each and every movie she stars in, and because of that – among other reasons, I look forward to maybe seeing some of the older titles I’ve yet to see and her upcoming roles. 


  1. Gosh, I feel so behind the times! I have not seen any of those!
    But your post was really well written, and I got a really good idea of what they are about. Thanks ;)

  2. I too first "met" Sandra in "While You Were Sleeping," a movie that both I and my mother love; I too bought "In Love & War" out of a bargain bin -- and I HATED IT. I still own it but haven't watched it again; "Miss Congeniality" is one of my all-time favorite comedies (not so much the sequel... I've only seen it once); "Two Weeks Notice" was kinda... meh for my taste; "The Lake House" was fabulous -- and is now my mother's favorite film; I was shocked by "Premonition" but in retrospect kind of like it, though I'll probably never watch it again; can't remember much about "The Proposal," honestly. I agree too that "The Blind Side" is overrated.

    Another movie I love Sandra in is "The Net," with Jeremy Northam. It's a thriller. A very dated thriller. But he's cute, so who cares?

  3. Rebekah - most of these Sandra Bullock credits are really, really good. I hope you can see them sometime (as I said, they will probably end up on my blog sooner or later in a more detailed review).

    Thank you! I really had fun putting this post together - and it went up a lot quicker than I'd thought. Glad the "mini synopsis'" gave you an idea of each film. =)

    Charity - I so need to watch "While You were Sleeping" again - maybe around Christmas since it covers the holidays. Come to think of it, I really need to watch most of her films again, because I've just not seen them in ages. "The Blind Side" is an awesome movie, but I remember laughing at the humor more than feeling "inspired." If I remember correctly I really liked "Two Weeks Notice," but I may have only seen it once...

    Hmmm... I've not seen "The Net," but saw the DVD at the store the other day. Perhaps I'll rent it sometime - and yeah, Jeremy Northam is great + I love a good thriller, so it'd be a winner! =D

  4. I've seen Sandra Bullock act in The Blind Side. That was a great movie, in my opinion, and she acted wonderfully.

  5. Jemimah - contrary to what it may sound like, I too thought "The Blind Side" was a great movie, it just seemed less-inspiring and more... heartwarming, and comical. I was really surprised by how witty the script was - and good comedy always makes me happy to have seen a movie. =)

  6. Let's see, my favorite Sandra films are While You Were Sleeping, Two Weeks Notice, The Lake House (LOVE THAT MOVIE), and The Proposal. Love her!

  7. You and me both, Ruth! In case you couldn't tell, I LOVE "The Proposal"!! Must watch it again.

    "The Lake House" is a beautifully well-told film and I want to see it again also. Oooh... for heaven's sake! I actually want to re-watch ALL of these Sandra Bullock movies! Must go on a Sandra Bullock movie marathon. =D


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