Sandra Bullock not only won her first ever Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood Sunday night, she also won everyoneâ€™s heart with her acceptance speech. Nominated for “The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock was favored by most critics to win the award, but there was a nagging reminder that the inestimable and incomparable Meryl Streep, who was nominated for a record-setting 16th time for “Julie and Julia,” might pull off another win (or perhaps a surprise win might have been suppled by Gabourey Sidibe, who was nominated for a 2010 Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Precious”). But Bullock prevailed and during her acceptance speech, showed the world why so many people just find no reason not to like the 45-year-old Texas actress.
She started off her acceptance speech by being self-deprecating, asking if she really had “earned” the 2010 Oscar for Best Actress or if she had finally “wore down” the members of the Academy. She then moved to honoring the group of women she was nominated among, noting that Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) was “exquisite” as an actress, Carey Mulliganâ€™s (“An Education”) “grace, elegance, beauty, and talent” made her “sick,” Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”) was “like family,” and whispering that Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”) was “such a good kisser.”
She thanked those who “were kind to me when it wasnâ€™t fashionable” and thanked those “that were mean to me,” including George Clooney (nominated for a 2010 Best Actor Oscar for “Up In The Air”) who supposedly sometime in the past threw her into a swimming pool, noting that she still was holding a grudge.
But the humor left her when she began talking about the film, “The Blind Side,” and wanted to acknowledge the unthanked mothers of the world for providing unconditional love and support to their children. In “The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a mom who takes a troubled black teen off the streets and gives him a home. It is the true life story of now NFL football player Michael Oher.
Sandra Bullockâ€™s voice broke when she next mentioned her mother, Helga Meyer, a German opera singer who died in 2000, who she said she never thanked enough. She thanked her mother for “not letting me ride in cars with boys until I was 18” and putting her through tough practices and rehearsals when she was a child.
But although her voice broke and tears flowed, Sandra Bullock never once seemed self-indulgent, unlike Gwyneth Paltrow when she blubbered her way through her far-too-long cryfest of an acceptance speech for her Oscar win in 1999. Her honesty and the noting of the simple things that reminded her of her mother were endearing rather than emotionally pandering. And there was no emotional insecurity, such as was evidenced by Sally Field in her oft-parodied acceptance speech where she gushed, “You like me. You really like me.”
The 2010 Best Actress Oscar was Sandra Bullockâ€™s first Academy Award. It was also her first nomination.