Remember her amazing 2009? This year was better. She nailed both comedy and pulse-pounding drama. She brought heat and gravity. ''She could run a country if she needed to,'' says longtime friend Matthew McConaughey. In 2013 Bullock returned to her physical-comedy roots alongside Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig's joyful buddy-cop movie The Heat, the one drink of water for female moviegoers in a summer desert of capes, cars, and exploding White Houses. Then, in October, Bullock delivered a bravura one-woman performance throat tight, breath jagged, eyes wounded and alert in Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, a $536 million-and-counting formula-free smash. Still, says Bullock, ''I will always nitpick every aspect of my performance. I'm an actress! We're vain, crazy, narcissistic creatures. You look at yourself 17 feet [tall] and you're going to be riddled with insecurity. Maybe when I'm old and go back to my youth, I'll say, 'Oh, look at her, bless her heart.' But I'm proud of the experiences I had on that movie. I'm proud that when Alfonso said, 'Okay, you're going to sit at the bottom of a tank 35 feet below,' I said, 'Okay, let's go down there and sit all day.' I'm really proud that I had those moments where I became fearless because I've never felt fearless before.''