This year's Oscar for best performance by an actress went to Bullock for her role as a compassionate Memphis do-gooder in "The Blind Side." Hers was not the best effort, considering the performances by other nominees in the same category, but who doesn't like watching a Sandra Bullock movie?
There were several differences in this year's Academy Awards ceremony, changes that perhaps have been creeping up on Hollywood for some time.
For one thing, award presenters abandoned the politically correct "And the Oscar goes to ... " (indicating all the nominees were winners but, golly, you can't give a statue to everyone) with the more accurate "And the winner is ... " (indicating that the best nominee won and everyone else lost).
Another difference this year was the total absence of spontaneity in the 3 1/2 dreary hours that followed a shallow opening attempt at a Busby Berkeleyesque production of the kind that once stunned moviegoers.
And, until the final big awards were announced late, late, late in the show, acceptance speeches were cut off after only a few seconds. This may be the biggest improvement in the ceremony in the last 80 years. Too bad that the same limit didn't apply to the time-consuming, head-scratching tribute to horror films.
But there was another, even bigger change, in my opinion, in this year's Oscar get-together. There was a time not so long ago when the la-la crowd from the movie industry would have laughed any attempt to recognize a movie with a sound moral -- and religious -- message off the stage of the Kodak Theatre.
Never mind the various attempts to depict the life of Jesus in ways that were excruciatingly painful. Those movies graphically portray the humanity of God-made-man without sharing much of his divinity.
"The Blind Side" offers moviegoers a true story of one family's effort to rescue a down-and-out teenager. In the process, the family is guided by religious conviction rather than the social and racial expectations of early 21st-century Memphis.
See this movie if you haven't already. It will do you good.
R. Joe Sullivan is the editorial page editor at the Southeast Missourian. Contact him at