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For your consideration: Sandra Bullock…?

For your consideration: Sandra Bullock…? (photo)

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This weekend, for complicated work-related reasons, I had to watch “All About Steve,” the most-maligned of Sandra Bullock’s three releases this year.

If “The Proposal” is Bullock’s straight-up romantic comedy and “The Blind Side” is a rare foray into playing middle-aged matron, “All About Steve” is a bizarrely misbegotten anti-romcom. She deploys crazed intensity in turning Mary, the ostensible protagonist, into a mass of twitches in a performance that bears as much relation to your conventional female romantic lead as, say, Cuba Gooding Jr. going full retard in “Radio.” Needless to say, it’s not very good.

But that’s not important, because not only is it Oscar season, it’s Thanksgiving week and there really isn’t much else to talk about. So contemplate, if you will, the thoughts of Pete Hammond — formerly Maxim magazine’s resident blurb-whore, which makes him as qualified as anyone to play awards-season swami.

Hammond is convinced that Bullock has a reasonable shot at a Best Actress nomination for “The Blind Side” because, apparently four slots are already locked, the film itself is performing quite well, audiences love it and Bullock’s playing a true-life (or, I guess, “true-life”) person and generally doing all the things Oscar nominees do.

I dunno if any of this is plausible, partly because trying to guess Oscar nominations over two months in advance is not my favorite game, and partly because I have zero intention of seeing “The Blind Side.” (If Warner Bros. wants to give Michael Lewis, who I love, money for turning his book into saccharine feel-good material, I am totally in favor, but that doesn’t mean I have to see it.) I would suggest, however, that if Bullock’s going to be nominated, it makes sense — she’s clearly thought of herself as a brilliant thespian for a long time now.

11242009_theblindside.jpgUnlike Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz — two of her main rivals for queen-of-the-romcoms status — Bullock’s put a lot of effort into alternating her bread-and-butter staples with all manner of supporting player oddities. It’s not just her token serious part in “Crash” (a movie that made a party game out of inviting you to re-evaluate presumably “lightweight” actors). There’s also her small turn in Kevin Bacon’s queasy, quasi-incestuous mother-son ode “Loverboy,” her first effort as a producer on one of her own movies with 2000’s infamous violent flop “Gun Shy,” and her (failed) Oscar-baiting as a flailing alcoholic in the same year’s “28 Days.”

Long ago, Bullock was on her way to being a female action star, with turns in “Demolition Man,” “Speed” and “The Net.” I like to think Bullock’s always been a bit bored with trying to be brunette Meg Ryan. In a weird way, a cast-off like “All About Steve” is her way of attempting a showy performance while still (sort of) giving the people what they want. So, an Oscar nom? Why not. She thinks tics, busyness and overt weirdness are the way to go? Stranger things have won awards.

BTW, did you remember that Sandra Bullock once attempted to fill Melanie Griffith’s shoes for 12 short episodes of “Working Girl”? It’s true:

[Photos: “All About Steve,” 20th Century Fox, 2009; “The Blind Side,” Warner Bros., 2009]

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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