Why now?

Posted by · 2:10 pm · December 7th, 2009

Sandra Bullock in CrashThe progression of “The Blind Side” from sleeper success to bona fide box-office phenomenon has cemented Sandra Bullock’s place in the Best Actress discussion. I don’t know if she’ll actually get a nomination — at this early stage, I’m guessing not — but in a tight race for the fifth spot, she’s currently one of the feistiest outside contenders.

Having not seen “The Blind Side” yet, I can’t say whether I’m okay with this or not. (She’ll have to be very good to justifiably deprive Abbie Cornish of a nod, that much I know.) But as more pundits speculate that Bullock might be in line for one of those “paid her dues” nominations the Academy sometimes hands popular entertainers for attempting more gravitas than usual, I find myself wondering: why now?

Where was this groundswell of support for Bullock four years ago, when she gave a strong, against-type performance in a film the Academy plainly loved?

I’m no fan of “Crash,” to put it politely. But sifting through the hard-working ensemble that is easily the film’s greatest asset, I’ve always thought that Bullock was best in show. Her “I’m angry all the time” speech may be prone to frequent parody among the film’s detractors, but that in itself is a testament to the earnest conviction with which she sells the on-the-nose rhetoric. There’s really no other way to play such a flat device of a character; Bullock pulls it off.

When I saw “Crash” in the summer of 2005, I didn’t think the film had any serious Oscar prospects, but I did jot down Bullock’s name as an outside possibility for Best Supporting Actress. It seemed to fit as an Oscar narrative: beloved commercial comedienne goes indie-serious, gets industry pat on the back for her trouble. Months later, to my astonishment, the film turned out to be an Oscar frontrunner — while Bullock failed to receive a single mention all season.

This isn’t particularly a “she was robbed” gripe — more an expression of surprise. If she could give the right performance in the right film and still get no awards traction, I remember thinking, then she never would.

Turns out I was wrong … again. Interestingly, “The Blind Side” offers her a character with some superficial parallels to the one she payed in “Crash” — broadly, a pampered white homemaker faced with the narrowness and prejudice of her cosseted life — though the new film is less prestigious and less acclaimed.

So what’s driving her campaign in “The Blind Side” that wasn’t behind “Crash?” Is it the performance itself? Is it the box-office? Or is it just timing?




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49 responses so far

  • 1 12-07-2009 at 2:15 pm

    Danny King said...

    I haven’t seen this one yet either, but I can agree with you on one thing: Abbie Cornish was outstanding in Bright Star. I would be shocked if Bullock is able to match that performance with what seems to be less-distinguished material.

  • 2 12-07-2009 at 2:24 pm

    Chris138 said...

    I’ve been asking myself the same thing whenever I hear about all of this talk for The Blind Side, which I also have yet to see. If there’s any nomination she was worthy of, it was her few, yet effective, scenes in Crash. Maybe they thought she wasn’t in enough scenes, although that shouldn’t matter too much with Michael Shannon being nominated last year. And he was in, what, three scenes total?

  • 3 12-07-2009 at 2:25 pm

    Zizo Abul Hawa said...

    I saw Bright Star today, and Abbie Cornish was amazing, the movie was perfect (technically speaking), but it was SO boring, and I didn’t connect, so it was like a screensaver for me.

    I haven’t seen Bullock yet, but from what I saw (and read) she is good in The Blind Side. She is a good actress, as you mention in the article, she was good in Crash, and she was amazing in Infamous… I think that people were rooting for her, and they didn’t expect that the movie well get good reviews and that will be a Box Office Hit (I did though, months ago when the trailer came out), so now that it did… there is no reason to NOT to consider her.

    I’m a big mess expressing myself

  • 4 12-07-2009 at 2:28 pm

    M.Harris said...

    Guy, I think that it is timing more than anything, when it comes to the ground swell of support for Bullock in “The Blind Side.” I do agree with you, when you make reference to her excellent performance in “Crash.”

    Why didn’t she not get the same kind of attention then?

    She didn’t get the same kind of attention, because it was an ensemble cast. And to my recollection – Terrence Howard and Matt Dillon were pushed to the forefront (in a different category) but pushed to the forefront none the less – when it came down to discussing what actors were in contention to get nominated that year, in regards to that film.

  • 5 12-07-2009 at 2:34 pm

    Jim T said...

    Guy, interesting thought.

    About Crash. I think the problem was that it was an ensemble film. Dillon was nominated but he had a bigger role.

    About Blind Side: I have no idea what happened. I think I heard about her being a possibility for the first time from Kris. I guess he heard it from someone else but who?

    If I got it rigtht, you are asking why there is support for her performance in BS while there was not in Crash? When you say support, do you mean expression of admiration or buzz? It’s not the same thing. I don’t really know many people that loved her perfomance. But there were some and I’m guessing the reasons are
    1) the role (quality and being the lead of the film)
    2)the movie (perhaps not good but sentimental enough)

    My comment is a mess but I hope there is some sense in it :p

    By the way, I hope they don’t give her a “oh you are trying for years, here, take one” nomination. She really has enough money to go to “bueno bye bye” and have a blast and forget about it.

  • 6 12-07-2009 at 2:44 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Um… Crash was GREAT but Bullock was BY FAR the worst part of that movie. Her fall down the stairs was a joke. You can blame Haggis for that being in the script, and the TV movie direction of the stunt itself, but even aside from that misstep, Bullock doesn’t even compare to Pena, Dillon, Newton, Howard and literally countless others in that film. I loved the movie in spite of her, not because of her.

  • 7 12-07-2009 at 2:47 pm

    j said...

    Well, Blind Side does not really have good reviews. It is the height of mediocrity if you judge by critics.

    Aside from Dillon and BFCA nominee Cheadle, don’t forget Bafta winner Thandie Newton and Sag nominee Cheadle. I remember people dug up old FYC ads; basically all the actors campaigned for got heat except for ole’ Sandy.

  • 8 12-07-2009 at 2:55 pm

    aspect ratio said...

    With everyone talking about it being such a huge hit in middle-America, to the point of not just talking about a Best Actress nomination but even Best Picture.. I’m still firmly in the mindset that if this is such a Midwestern, wholesome, good Christian kind of film, why would we expect the Academy full of people the exact opposite of that vote for it? Because it’s a big box office hit? So was The Hangover.

    I can imagine Bullock getting a nomination because she’s so famous and successful, yet has never quite had a role that demanded Oscar’s attention before, and with the film’s success they might want to give her that. But the Best Picture speculation seems ludicrous to me.

  • 9 12-07-2009 at 2:55 pm

    Bill said...

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Bullock will be nominated. The truth of the matter is that nobody has seen Bright Star and although Bullock is not regarded very highly by critics and various elitist film bloggers she is very well thought of by her peers. And her peers are the ones filling out the ballots.

  • 10 12-07-2009 at 2:59 pm

    Ali E. said...

    Crash was a step (maybe the first one) in Bullock’s way to a nomination which will eventually come. She wasn’t considered an awards calibre actress until that day and even though I don’t think she gave one of the best performances in that film, Crash (and one year later, Infamous) took her in another league. One in which she will be taken seriously, one day.

    I haven’t seen The Blind Side. It may be her The Pursuit of Happiness. But I don’t think she’ll get a nod just because the film is a huge success or she’s due (it’s still too early to say that for her). She’ll get a nod, only if she deserves it. I don’t believe the Academy members care about boxoffice that much…

    The Blind Side may be the film which will bring her a nod or just another step paving the way to that nod.

  • 11 12-07-2009 at 3:00 pm

    Mike said...

    I remember being suprised that Thandie Newton did not get an Oscar nod. She was the one they were pushing for supporting actress, I thin. She was the best in show, for me, though the movie sucked.

  • 12 12-07-2009 at 3:04 pm

    Jim T said...

    Let’s remind ourselves that Cornish is not the only one fighting against Bullock for the fifth spot. Ronan and Cotillard are buzzy (!) too. So is Swinton.

    No, she’s not but please don’t say it to my face.

  • 13 12-07-2009 at 3:06 pm

    Pablo (Col) said...

    In my mind, Crash winning in 2005 made it impossible for Babel to win in 2006. Babel was a perfect movie, that only a floor would not be moved by it. Crash, on the other side, was a little too L.A. for more people to get it. And they both had the same structure, only that at different scales.

    Bullock the best of Crash? Not really.

    2005 should have been about Brokeback Mountain (as if you people didnt knew that) and 2006, for me, should have been Babel’s year.

  • 14 12-07-2009 at 3:22 pm

    JAB said...

    Jim T:
    I loved Thandie Newton.

    Here’s my Crash story:
    i went to the theater expecting to see Star Wars Episode 3 with some friends, not because I really wanted to, but because we were going. It was sold out, so we chose Crash, and i didn’t really expect much and was blown away.
    Was I more blown away by Brokeback Mountain and even Munich later that year? yes.
    Has my overall perception of the movie declined after watching it a few more times? yes.
    But on first viewing, it gripped me viscerally and emotionally.

  • 15 12-07-2009 at 3:22 pm

    JAB said...

    oh but I thought Sandra Bullock was really obnoxious in it.

  • 16 12-07-2009 at 3:23 pm

    adelutza said...

    I think that the answer to “why now?” lies in the perception that this is a weak year for actresses. I have seen “The Blind Side” and , even if it plays well, the film is a caricature. Sandra Bullock is not bad, but she is doing this role since she started acting .It is no better than, say, Julia Roberts in “Duplicity” – I actually like Roberts better, so to nominate her would be, plain and simple, ridiculous.

  • 17 12-07-2009 at 3:43 pm

    M.Harris said...

    I don’t know? Does that perception exist? A weak year for Actresses? To each their own – but I don’t see it as being weak.

    You have Streep, who could get a nomination for either of her two movies. A nuanced and strong performance by Sidibie. Then you have Cornish, Mulligan, Mirren,Gyllenhaal and Colliard.

    Not to mention Swinton and Laurent, the latter is being pushed as a lead actress for “Inglourious Basterds.”

  • 18 12-07-2009 at 3:43 pm

    Glenn said...

    I remember liking Bullock in “Crash”, but preferring Newton.

    However, I think the thing with Bullock is that she is a Hollywood leading lady and if she was to ever get an Oscar nomination at this point of her career then it was going to be LEAD. A supporting actress nomination is obviously nothing to chide, but I think the groundswell is more to do with honouring Bullock for the lead role in a big box office hit.

    Plus, there’s the timing with this being a “comeback” year for her and for being this 45-year-old woman whose managed two giant box office hits (which is certainly getting her a lot of press). In 2005 she was down in terms of grosses and popularity, but now she’s “back!” etc.

    Pablo, I wasn’t moved AT ALL by “Babel” outside of the Kikuchi storyline. Too all over the place and without a third act.

  • 19 12-07-2009 at 4:13 pm

    Alex said...

    Why is no one talking about Melanie Laurent? The plotline involving the Basterds themselves wasn’t great but Laurent was brilliant as Shoshana. The final scene in the cinema was haunting on so many levels.

    There was also a reflexivity in her role (being a QT film) that would be quite tricky to pull off.

  • 20 12-07-2009 at 4:20 pm

    daveylow said...

    I thought Crash was bad when I first saw it and I still think it’s bad.

  • 21 12-07-2009 at 4:27 pm

    Erik said...

    I agree with some of the posters above about preferring Newton’s performance in Crash, and there was likely some vote-splitting going on there. While Hollywood might have preferred Bullock, Newton won the Bafta for her role.

    Another important point to consider is the fact that not everyone in the academy loved Crash, there was just a strong enough fanbase to push it over the hill. The fact that it won best pic doesn’t mean every single member loved it and every performance in it. The Blind Side probably actually has more mainstream appeal (as evidenced by the box office).

    The logistics for lead and supporting actress are, obviously, different. But Supporting winners and nominees usually have either larger roles, or larger-than-life roles that make them stand out. Bullock in Crash had neither.

    Then there’s momentum: Bullock is probably the reigning box office queen of 2009, and that brings with it a lot of extra attention.

    Finally: Bullock is best known for her comedy work, but this and Crash are not her only forays into more serious territory. We can go all the way back to 1996’s A Tome To Kill for her first dramatic role in a major film, she’d done several before her breakthrough in Speed, and she had some career-best reviews for her role in Infamous, which was likely damaged by trailing Capote by a year with lesser overall reviews.

    … so yea, it is the timing and the box office. And probably also the performance itself.

  • 22 12-07-2009 at 4:59 pm

    Chris said...

    The only scene with Bullock I remember from “Crash” is the film’s worst scene (and I think there’s quite a few very bad ones). When she falls down the stairs, the staging is so terrible it might have badly affected more people than just me, even those that actually liked the film.

    So I think that if you ask “why now?”, the answer might very well be because of Paul Haggis.

  • 23 12-07-2009 at 5:05 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    If Paul Haggis’s generally dismal staging of scenes had been an issue with the Academy, “Crash” never would have gotten anywhere.

  • 24 12-07-2009 at 6:01 pm

    Chris said...

    Well, but maybe, and it’s nothing more than my desperate way of explaining something I generally don’t even care about, that most terribly staged scene of many just kind of stuck with the Academy in the bad way it should have and gave them a bad opinion of Bullock.

    Desperate attempt, but hey, there’s my answer.

  • 25 12-07-2009 at 6:50 pm

    Joy Fountain said...

    I think Bullock deserved a supporting nom for “Infamous”. It’s a much better performance than both “The Blind Side” and “Crash”.

  • 26 12-07-2009 at 7:23 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    You know what’s funny? A trailer for The Blind Side was attached to my screening of WTWTA. While watching it I thought it was Sandy’s Oscar movie – she had blond hair, a southern accent, she’s older – it all felt very Julia Roberts circa 2000 – now there’s certainly a possibility of it becoming a reality – the nomination not the win – I can say it makes me happy. I like her. I never liked Julia Roberts. And don’t get her appeal – of course she was America’s Sweetheart – a beloved underdog.

    Btw for those rooting against Bullock getting the nomination remind your selves Cuba Gooding Jr. is an Oscar Winner!

  • 27 12-07-2009 at 8:55 pm

    Joey said...

    I agree with Joy that she should’ve received more notice for Infamous.

    I liked The Blind Side. I think that Bullock portrays a strong woman in a crowd pleasing movie. I would love to hear her named called out among the nominees simply because I love her.

  • 28 12-08-2009 at 12:11 am

    carlo said...

    Once again, actresses such as Kate Winslet, Meg Ryan or Nicole Kidman were very effective in Campion films and did not manage to earn a single nominations, so Cornish’s chances are slim

  • 29 12-08-2009 at 12:53 am

    Aaron said...

    I hated The Blind Side but I actually thought Sandra Bullock was the best thing about it. Hands down her strongest performance. I will not be surprised if she gets a nomination.

    And I do not think Helen Mirren is as safe as everyone thinks she is. Yes, she has gotten absolutely terrific reviews for The Last Station, but my god, who has actually seen or even heard about this movie???

  • 30 12-08-2009 at 12:58 am

    Ali E. said...

    Aaron, you or many other people may not be interested, but many Academy members do actually see this kind of movies, especially when they have awards buzz. The Last Station is obviously not a slow-paced auteur movie such as Bright Star for example. And with names like Mirren and Plummer, it will be seen.

  • 31 12-08-2009 at 4:16 am

    the other mike said...

    great investigative reporting Guy.

  • 32 12-08-2009 at 5:21 am

    Melissa Silverstein said...

    I don’t know if Bullock will get a nomination, yet it is her strongest most heartfelt performance ever. What is fueling The Blind Side and in turn Bullock’s performance is that the film appeals to a wide variety of people and Bullock is one of those female actors that men are comfortable watching. The movie may have started out with primarily older women but it has expanded and was number 1 this weekend. It’s a family movie that makes you feel good and the timing of the release was perfect. I just think it is a perfect storm for this film. I also think it benefited from coming out after Precious which is so intense.

  • 33 12-08-2009 at 6:15 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The Other Mike: If that’s a compliment, thanks — though I wouldn’t call the piece “investigative!”

    If it’s a jibe at my not having seen the movie yet, I haven’t had a chance to see it here in the UK.

    Sorry, just covering my bases ;)

  • 34 12-08-2009 at 6:33 am

    coffeefortwo said...

    A couple other comments above touch on this, but I think the clear answer to the question “Why now?” is “Because of ‘The Proposal.'”When “Crash” was released, it was Bullock’s first movie in a year-and-a-half (and the predecessor was the unwatchable “Two Weeks Notice,” which felt like the death knell for the romantic comedy sweetie heart portion of her career) and she didn’t even really have anything else on the horizon. Regardless of the quality of the performance, she felt fairly insignificant, a movie star edging cautiously into a character actor phase. That gets swamped out easily by a long-respected actor getting a (superficially) meaty role (Dillon), a long-respected-but-little-noted actress getting a couple show-stopping monologues (Newton), a guy having a breakout year (Howard), and a recent Best Actor nominee who also happens to be debuting as a producer (Cheadle).

    In contrast, this year Bullock is getting added attention because she charged back onto the A-list with “The Proposal.” Assuming that Best Actress nomination happens, and I’m starting to think that it will (which fills me with no joy since my compulsion to be a completist about seeing the major nominations means I’ll have to buy a ticket for “The Blind Side”), it’ll be a celebration of a very good year for a movie star more than a commemoration of one performance. If “All About Steve” had been her only other film this year, I don’t think she’d be a serious part of the discussion.

    And when those Golden Globe nominations come out, she’s likely to be one of the double nominees, showing up in the Best Actress race on both the Drama and Comedy/Musical sides. That’ll the the last bump she needs for that fifth Oscar slot.

  • 35 12-08-2009 at 6:48 am

    Derek said...

    Guy, you continually prove yourself to be In Contention’s MVP. You are a voice of reason, with a non-snarky manner that I find really refreshing. Bravo.

  • 36 12-08-2009 at 7:14 am

    Joe said...

    Guy – I think The Proposal had something to do with it. (I know, coffeefortwo beat me to it.)
    Ali E. – I like your comparison to Will Smith. Two years ago, I held an Oscar party (as I do every year). A friend who had no interest in the Oscars only came to see the Best Actor category, because The Pursuit of Happyness was the only nominated film she’d seen, and she loved Will Smith. As we all know, Will had zero chance of winning that year; and neither, I suspect, will Sandra this year; but the mere fact that a well-liked star in a well-liked movie doing what they do best (as opposed to, say, Brad Pitt sleepwalking through “Benjamin Button”) is nominated will probably bring in viewers.

  • 37 12-08-2009 at 7:15 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Derek: Wow. That’s very kind of you. Thanks.

    Coffeefortwo: Very good points. In a way, I thought Bullock’s career doldrums in 2005 might have helped her cause, giving her a comeback angle — but you’re right, her appearance in two very different 2009 money-spinners is a stronger awards narrative.

    But am I the only person who really likes “Two Weeks’ Notice?”

  • 38 12-08-2009 at 8:04 am

    Simon Warrasch said...

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

    Lock:

    – Carey Mulligan in An Education
    – Gabby Sidibe in Precious

    Very Strong Contenders:

    – Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
    – Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia
    – Helen Mirren in The Last Station

    Also in Play:

    – Abbie Cornish in Bright Star
    – Marion Cotillard in Nine
    – Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely Bones

  • 39 12-08-2009 at 8:19 am

    Skip said...

    God I fucking hate Crash

  • 40 12-08-2009 at 8:35 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    I think coffeefortwo hits the nail right on the head. Hollywood loves a hit and The Blind Side has literally blindsided everybody with how much money it’s making. Marry that up with the surprise hit The Proposal (funny how All About Steve rarely crops up in discussions like this), and I think it’s fairly certain that Sandra Bullock will have earned her dues and become an Oscar nominee.

    And let’s also remember that Bright Star was a financial flop so I find it really hard to picture Abby Cornish being nominated for a film that few saw. Hard as it is for me to say that, given that I thought that the film was gorgeous and Cornish was inspiring in it.

    On a sidenote, I’m very curious to see how The Blind Side plays outside of the US. I’ve no clue when it’s due here in the UK.

  • 41 12-08-2009 at 9:48 am

    Erik said...

    Lest we should forget, Cornish might make it on strong reviews alone if the precursors give her momentum (like Melissa Leo). While some cosider someone like Helen Mirren a lock, i think that’s presumptuous, as we often see “surprising” snubs (Clint Eastwood for Gran Torino, Paul Giamatti in Sideways, Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky, etc.) of people we thought were certain to get in.

    At this point I wouldn’t even call Mulligan and Sidibe locks untill their respective films get some more traction in the precursors (which I assume they will).

  • 42 12-08-2009 at 11:00 am

    Derek 8-Track said...

    all of what you said, a sentimental story and more screen time is driving her campaign.

  • 43 12-08-2009 at 1:03 pm

    Casual observer said...

    It amazes me the number of people who have such strong opinions about The Blind Side and of Sandra Bullock’s performance … when they haven’t even seen the movie.

    What makes a great actress? Purely subjective. But it seems many people think it’s one that makes you feel your emotions. Tragic, dark, conflicted are often mentioned. But there’s one that is often overlooked: joy. There’s nothing about Ms. Bullock’s performance that will make you search your soul (unless you chose to read into it a lot more), but like Ms. Streep’s Julia Child (supposedly a lock), she brings a smile to your face almost every time she’s in the scene as Leigh Anne Touhy. And you miss her when she’s not around. I know a lot of people, and seemingly a good amount of critics, feel that way, even if you personally don’t.

    For that connection, she’s a good actress in The Blind Side, and therefore deserves a consideration. The Sandra Bullock of Crash, of Speed, of whatever, is history. Please don’t be, to quote BEP, so 2000 and late.

  • 44 12-08-2009 at 1:22 pm

    Marco said...

    Crash was terrible and so emotionally manipulative. Sandra was the only good thing about it so i hope she gets nominated this year. I will not get to see it till next year though.

  • 45 12-08-2009 at 10:14 pm

    Adam M. said...

    I came up with the thought on my own, but I doubt I was the first who legitimized it in some way:

    http://appleplectic.blogspot.com/2009/10/blind-to-sandra-bullock.html

    Having seen the film back in early November, there is a lot in that post I can no longer stick by. But that’s for the extra-super-fun obligatory post-ceremony “look how simultaneously awesome and on crack I was during Oscar season last year.”

  • 46 12-09-2009 at 6:38 am

    Bia said...

    I agree, it’s more because she is having a big year as a box office star who can’t be ignored. The Blind Side may be getting average reviews, but most critics still praise Bullock. A nomination is possible and so is a win, rewarding Sandra is like rewarding the public that loves her enough to turn out and see her films.

    I mean why else did Brad and Angelina get in last year? They are talented but it was also a recognition of their money-making power for Hollywood. And ratings as well…

  • 47 12-09-2009 at 7:05 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “I know a lot of people, and seemingly a good amount of critics, feel that way, even if you personally don’t.”

    Casual Observer, I think you missed the part of the article where I say that I don’t have any personal feelings on the matter at all, given that I haven’t seen the film yet. Just commenting on a situation that struck me as interesting.

    Bia: While I agree that Pitt and Jolie’s star appeal factored into their nomination last year (neither of which I thought were deserved), they were immeasurably helped by the fact that they were in prestige, Oscar-tailored vehicles from major filmmakers. Bullock doesn’t have the same advantage, which makes her rising buzz all the more unusual.

  • 48 12-09-2009 at 1:14 pm

    Casual observer said...

    Wow, it’s kinda cool that the original poster responded to something I wrote! (I’m obviously a newbie to these kinds of things.)

    But, Mr. Lodge, my comment wasn’t actually directed at you. You don’t give a strong opinion about Ms. Bullock’s performance in TBS (though you do show skepticism, which I suppose is fine, since it still allows for the possibility of something else).

    No, my comment was directed more at those who just can’t fathom Ms. Bullock as a possible candidate. Some of it might be elitism, some of it might be personal dislike of her. But this doesn’t negate the fact she’s very convincing as the character she plays in TBS. Again, personally, I don’t know why Ms. Streep’s Julia Child can be considered a lock and Ms. Bullock’s Leigh Anne Touhy as bologna (especially from those who haven’t even seen TBS). Point is: see the movie first. Then tell me you don’t smile when you hear those high heels clicking or at least smirk and think, “God, she’s annoying, but in a fight, I’d definitely want her on my side.”

    Fin.

  • 49 12-17-2009 at 9:22 am

    spoon said...

    I have seen the Blind Side and enjoyed it – it is a formulatic film with some very fine parts which are subtle so I think might be over-looked. Not one of best films of the year but in my personal top 25 – along the lines of Remember the Titans for me – I’ll buy the DVD and there will be days when I’ll open up a bottle of Single Malt and enjoy it as a mood tonic.

    As for Bullock’s performance, I do think it deserves a nomination. There are performances when an actor crawls into the skin of a character and not only inhabits it but presents an archetype which stirs the audience. Bullock is becomes an “EveryMomma” in this film. Fun not only to watch but to share in the audience reaction. Best actress – I don’t think so – nomination – yeah – if for no other reason -as someone has commented- her nomination will give the Academy Awards a viewership they have not had in decades. Living down here in texas, I cannot tell you how many people are “personally” invested in this film.