Sandra Bullock has been ruling our hearts, and the box-office charts, for over 30 years now - and thankfully, she shows no signs of stopping.
This 54-year-old star, from the start of her career, has become the character she has portrayed on screen. So it is not Sandra the actor, but the mother from The Blind Side, or the doctor from The Lake House, that stay in your memory for long.
Whether it was as the self-sufficient secretary-turned-junior executive in the sitcom Working Girl, or as the voice of Scarlet Overkill in the animation movie Minions, or in supporting roles in movies like Speed and A Time To Kill, Sandra Bullock has portrayed characters which were intrinsic to the story. And let her talent justify her presence in the script.
Just like she did for these movies:
1. The Blind Side
This movie can turn even a rock into an emotional wreck. There is no discounting the fact that Michael Oher's original life story is inspiring, to say the least, but it's also true that Sandra Bullock was the heart of this film - much like the person her character was based on. As Leigh Anne Tuohy, her steely determination was a striking aspect of her character, and Bullock aced the role.
The movie - cited as one of the best sci-fi thrillers - won various accolades from critics and fans alike. And it was clearly Sandra Bullock's show. Her emotional range within the movie was brilliant, especially when she depicts the acute fear of being alone in space. Another iconic moment is when, with gritting determination, she pulls herself out of her own scared psyche and emotional turmoil at having lost her friend and colleague in space.
3. Miss Congeniality
The Proposal was not the first time Sandra Bullock reversed the traditional rom-com formula. She also did it first with her production venture Miss Congeniality in 2000. As Gracie Hart Freebush, Sandra Bullock gave voice to many young women about how you can retain your original identity even after a physical makeover. And who can ever forget the defense maneuver S.I.N.G?
4. The Lake House
This 2006 romantic drama brought together two of the finest Hollywood stars - Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock - and gave the audience a romance to remember. While the premise of the movie definitely left the viewers a little befuddled, the raw and intensely emotional performance by the lead pair rekindled the faith in the all-consuming power of love.
5. Ocean's 8
The all-female con team was lead by Sandra Bullock in the latest franchise of the Ocean's series. And she definitely delivered as the beauty and the brains behind the epic jewelry heist. The movie - where women planned a con and did not spend time discussing men - was a refreshing take on female bonding.
6. Our Brand Is Crisis
This 2015 comedy-drama was a movie that proved, even in a flawed storyline, Bullock has the rare ability to draw just the right punches, both comical and dramatic. In fact, this was a movie that actually allowed Bullock's fans (like yours truly) to enjoy her expert comic timing that most romantic comedies don't explore in detail.
7. The Heat
What makes a predictable story a box-office hit? A stellar performance like the one that Sandra Bullock gave in The Heat. Her chemistry with co-star Melissa McCarthy was a delight to watch and felt refreshing, despite the fact that the movie was another buddy cop drama.
8. The Proposal
This was a romantic comedy where traditional gender roles were reversed. And Sandra Bullock, as the hardass, practical, and tough boss with a heart of gold was a joy to watch. Even as she falls for her assistant, she doesn't change her personality to impress him - a fact the recent Netflix romantic comedy Set It Up also touched upon!
And yeah, she manages to steal the spotlight from Ryan 'Deadpool' Reynolds, because she is just that cool!
9. 28 Days
Yes, a lot of people may feel that the movie was a light-hearted take on a serious issue - the problem of alcohol and drug addiction. Nevertheless, from showcasing struggles of addicts to the decision to consciously chose sobriety in face of temptation- something that is crucial to an addict's recovery - Bullock's performance was definitely worth a watch.
10. The Net
This cyber crime thriller is one of Sandra Bullock's finest performance. She truly employed every gesture, every look to pull you into the story, and you couldn't help but live her fear - of losing her online identity - with her. Way before Black Mirror, it was Bullock with The Net that made us wary of the wide world of web.
11. While You Were Sleeping
As a lovable romantic in While You Were Sleeping, Sandra Bullock's innate charm seemed to light up the screen itself. Despite sharing screen space with talented actors like Bill Pullman, Peter Boyle, and Jack Warden, it was Sandra Bullock who stole the show with her mannerisms; after all, she wasn't called 'America's Sweetheart' for nothing.
An actor, producer and a philanthropist, Sandra Bullock has donned many hats and managed to make ever role - be it on screen or off screen - count.
She is the girl-next-door that we love to love, and it is not just her star presence but rather her relatable charm that keeps us watching out for her work, year after year.