''The Blind Side'' is one of the actress' recent hits

By Karen Valby
December 18, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

No. 1 – Hollywood MVP

The romantic-comedy genre is rarely generous to its leading ladies, typically loving them and leaving them for the next new thing. Sandra Bullock had a helluva run in the 1990s, and by Hollywood’s cruel and arbitrary standards she should be down for the count at 45 years old. So what a thrill to see her smashing career-best records right and left instead. Playing a guarded, hard-nosed executive in The Proposal, the gifted comedic actress found zingy chemistry with her costar Ryan Reynolds and turned it into boffo business, raking in $164 million. And now in the unstoppable true story The Blind Side — at $150 million and counting — Bullock stretches capably and effortlessly into dramatic territory as a woman trying to raise a man rather than land one. (She scored Golden Globe nominations for both performances, and there is talk of an Oscar nod for Blind Side.) After a year like this, for the sake of all moviegoers hungering to see more realistic women on screen, Hollywood should ask itself: What if Sandra Bullock is just now hitting her stride?