24. Sandra Bullock — The Blind Side (2009)
True story? Check. Racial injustice? Check. Snarky, willful Southern woman? Check. All the elements seemed to be there for Sandra Bullock to win an Oscar in this adaptation of a true story. A victim of the foster system, future NFL player Michael Oher was given a home and a family by Leigh Anne Tuohy, a woman who helped to inspire him to realize his athletic potential — and that is where some of the problems begin. As an assertive woman who knows her own mind, Bullock is competent and fun enough to watch, but her performance is too tied into the trope of the white savior narrative to be considered a revolutionary or great performance.
For every instance of Oher’s lack of intelligence, Bullock’s Tuohy is there to pick up the slack and instruct him. Maddeningly, Oher is portrayed as barely understanding the game of football — the bread and butter of his character — while Bullock snips her dialogue out about the finer points of the game. Bullock is a competent enough actress, but gilded accolades may not have been the most appropriate award.
Image Source: IMDb