Happy Birthday Sandra Bullock: Celebrating the Hollywood Star’s Best Movies

by Jennifer Shea

Sandra Bullock turns 57 today, and the showbiz legend is still going strong. These days, the star of hits like “Speed,” “Miss Congeniality,” “28 Days” and “Crash” is a powerful Hollywood producer and Oscar-winning actress in her own right.

Bullock grew up in Virginia, the daughter of an opera singer and a voice teacher. According to Us Weekly, she lived in Germany, her mother’s native country, for over a decade during her childhood, working as a singer and ballet dancer. After high school and college back in the U.S., she moved to New York City to try her hand at the theatre scene before heading west to Los Angeles.

The actress got her big break in 1994’s “Speed,” co-starring Keanu Reeves. She went on to produce and star in 2000’s “Miss Congeniality,” a slapstick comedy about a federal agent masquerading as a beauty pageant contestant. Later on, Bullock’s performance in “The Blind Side” earned her an Oscar in 2010, per IMDb.

On Bullock’s birthday, here are a few of her top performances:

Sandra Bullock Arrives in ‘Miss Congeniality’

In a comedy that memorably co-starred Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, William Shatner and Benjamin Bratt, Bullock played a bumbling, frumpy FBI agent who gets a makeover and an attitude adjustment in order to go undercover at a beauty pageant.

The film garnered mixed reviews, with Newsday calling Bullock “just plain funny” and the Houston Chronicle praising Caine’s performance as “deft.” The Los Angeles Times declared it “funny and knowing” in a detached but calculated way. Meanwhile, the New York Times sneered, “Seems happily, deliberately second-rate,” and the Associated Press yawned, “Truly, we have mined the beauty pageant satire to death, have we not?”

But whatever critics said, the film cemented Bullock as a leading lady and a versatile actress. Watch a snippet from the movie here:

Bullock Wins an Oscar for ‘The Blind Side’

The 2009 film “The Blind Side” drew its inspiration from the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy, two white adults who took in a black teenager whose mother was a drug addict. They nurtured his interest in football and hired a tutor to help him qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. And in the end, the teenager, Michael Oher, became an NFL player. He was the first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.

Bullock played Leigh Anne, country star Tim McGraw played Sean and Quinton Aaron played Michael Oher. The role brought Bullock an Oscar the year after it was released.

Watch a scene from “The Blind Side” here:

Bullock Stars in ‘The Proposal’

In “The Proposal,” Sandra Bullock plays the fearsome book editor Margaret Tate, a Canadian facing imminent deportation. To stay in the country, Tate pretends to be engaged to her assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). Paxton goes along with her ploy, but he has a few requirements, including that she fly to Alaska with him to meet his oddball family. The fake couple have to act out their march to the altar with an immigration official following their every move.

Critics mostly panned the movie, calling it formulaic and dumbed-down, and suggesting that Bullock was slumming a bit in the role. But it grossed $317.4 million at the box office, so audiences must have liked it.

Watch a key scene from “The Proposal” here: