It’s Sandra Bullock’s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are 5 of her overlooked or lesser-known performances. Check some of these out!
A Time to Kill (1996)
After a couple of duds (The Net, Two if By Sea), Bullock returned to the big screen with the adaptation of John Grisham’s, A Time to Kill. Bullock plays law student Ellen Roark, who joins a lawyer’s defense team after a heartbroken and enraged black father opens fire on the rapists of his young daughter. Bullock and Matthew McConaughey display just the right amount of chemistry to add a spark to the film, although their characters never cross the line of romance, given McConaughey’s character is married. But Bullock’s performance is subtle and balanced, showing her dramatic range.
Practical Magic (1998)
It’s hard to go wrong with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Sally and Gillian Owens come from a long line of witches, plagued by a curse that kills any man who dare fall in love with an Owens woman. This movie is about sisterhood as much as it is about love. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it rocks an amazing soundtrack and the equally as amazing Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest as Sally and Gillian’s witchy aunts. Practical Magic is a movie that is a must watch for me every autumn and sparked one of my favorite quotes: “Always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
The year before, the success of Speed made Bullock a household name. She followed up her breakout role with the adorable rom-com, While You Were Sleeping, playing Lucy, a lonely CTA employee who inadvertently finds herself engaged to a comatose man. This is one of my all time favorite romantic comedies and I absolutely loved Bullock in this movie. Cute, likeable and holding her own against legends like Peter Boyle and Jack Warden, Bullock really solidified herself as a leading lady with While You Were Sleeping.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood! (2002)
As Siddalee Walker, Bullock shows her range by effectively displaying the everlasting effects of a traumatic childhood and growing up with a mentally ill mother. Much of the movie is told in flashbacks as the friends of Siddalee’s mother, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, attempt to provide Siddalee with more insight into her mother’s past and bring mother and daughter together once again to finally confront their estranged relationship. The film has its ups and downs, but it is worth a watch for the powerhouse performances, most notably Bullock and Ellen Burstyn.
The Heat (2013)
As much as I adore Bullock’s dramatic roles, I truly believe her strength lies in comedy and The Heat was the perfect showcase for her talent. As the by-the-book Special Agent Sarah Ashburn, Bullock is paired perfectly with more outlandish Melissa McCarthy. Their chemistry keeps the film from becoming just another bland buddy comedy and I truly wish that The Heat had become something of a franchise for these two characters. Maybe I can just keep my fingers crossed for a sequel.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday girl Sandra Bullock?