Before I start I must admit I am a huge fan of SANDRA BULLOCK. It all started with SPEED.. Even as KEANU REEVES and the speeding bus kept you hooked there was a lovely young woman who made quite an impression as ANNIE PORTER. That was the first time I saw Sandra Bullock on screen and I must say I was fascinated. Not so much by her looks but by her inherent vulnerability.
MERYL STREEP has been unanimously hailed as the greatest actress of our time and I have to say an AMEN to that having watched all her movies. But there is a unique problem she’s way too perfect. How about the others in contention. JULIA ROBERTS – Agreed we all loved her in the romantic comedies of the 90’s and her stunning turn as the fighting lawyer in ERIN BRONCHOVICH. But she hasn’t set the box office on fire for years now. ANGELINA JOLIE -She’s amazingly ravishing and that’s about it. Her acting is way too plastic and leaves a lot to be desired.
That leaves us with just one person – SANDRA BULLOCK – the reigning queen of the Hollywood Box office that too in her 40’s. How did this come about? Her career has never had the kind of blazing films that define a STAR’s resume. Of course there were films like WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING and CRASH which showed her range. No one doubted that she had the charm and the distinct feminine vulnerability to make it to the top.
Her early career graph ran this way – A rare hit and then a string of mediocre films. It was quite frustrating as a fan. It was like watching a ROHIT SHARMA bat you always knew he had the talent for the big stage but he rarely lives up to the promise.
It all changed with the BLINDSIDE in 2009. In her turn as LEIGH ANN TUOHY she breathes life into an inspiring script. Finally a role worthy of Bullock’s star status. To me it was one of more deserving OSCAR wins in recent years. The trick was to not make it too melodramatic or over the top. She plays a headstrong woman with considerable ease. The best part though was the fact that she had the gloriously commercial “THE PROPOSAL” the same year. Two completely different films done with considerable ease. It was just the sign of things to come.
2013 – A year which clearly cemented her position at the top. We saw her in the buddy cop comedy “THE HEAT” as Agent Sarah Ashburn. An incredibly cheesy film with just enough warmth to make it soar at the box office. The film belonged to Bullock as much as it belonged to Melissa Mccathy. The chemistry between the two is so perfect that it makes us forget the fact that the film doesn’t have a male lead.
And then came GRAVITY where she gives a performance as breathtaking as the film’s visuals. As Mission Specialist Ryan Stone she breathes life into a complex character. Her trademark vulnerability which makes the audience connect to her is there in plenty. You end up breathing for her and just praying that she finds an escape route. To standout as a performer in a technically superior film speaks volumes of her ability. Her performance perfectly complements the director’s vision. To think that she wasn’t even the first choice for the role is an irony. A role which was originally slated for ANGELINA JOLIE and then NATALIE PORTMAN. Thankfully neither of them took it up. It was Bullock’s destiny.
The best part about her films though is the fact that her financially successful films have been appreciated by the audience and critics alike. This is something which Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts lacked, neither of them have been able to translate critical success into box office numbers something which Bullock does with ease. After a string of not so great films Bullock seems to have found her bearings just in time. Her choice of roles has matured with age propelling her to where she deserves to be.
SANDRA BULLOCK – The Star has arrived with a bang.