Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

Wow. I really have to go down memory lane to remember the first time I saw Erin Brockovich. Special moment, I was 13 or so, one of the first movies I've seen in a multiplex. So it’s safe to say I have a nice special connection with this movie, and it was cool to once more enjoy this leading performance…

approximately 117 minutes and 23 seconds
93% of the film
Erin Brockovich
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.
Hell, yeah:
Well, as you should remember, the Oscarless screenplay is to die for; great sharp witty dialogue with killer one liners. It’s fun to write & play bitchy. The direction is balanced, just enough not to make the film seem low paced. Julia is in almost every scene – and that’s good. Also, a very good (just as Oscarless as the screenplay) supporting performance by legendary Albert Finney.
Oh, no:
Not much, really. The Oscar nomination for Best Picture might just be justified; barely, but still :) . Did it feel a bit cheesy at times? Just a bit.
Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich
The Good:
As I said before, it’s fun to do bitchy. And to have fabulous lines definitely helps your performance. After watching the film again, I found myself giving less credit to Julia Roberts and more to Erin Brockovich – the character. Does that make any sense? :)
Don’t get me wrong, Julia IS in the zone, making the character her own and enjoying it along the way. I like it at the beginning when Erin is acting her ass off trying to pretend to be something she’s not. She’s either looking for a job, or in a courtroom trying to impress the jury. I just wanna be a good mom.
Then, it’s all fire & music. We get acquainted with Erin the big-mouthed single mom, always saying what’s on her mind, with apparently no unseen layers of her character.
I just love this quote from the film and Julia delivers is just perfectly. Excellent writing. Here she is talking with her new neighbor (and future lover) George; he’s asking her number, but she’s not in the mood for flirting. Julia is great here, keeping the perfect rhythm of the fast paced dialogue.

George: How many numbers you got?
Erin Brockovich: Oh, I got numbers comin' outta my ears. For instance: ten.
George: Ten?
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. That's how many months old my baby girl is.
George: You got a little girl?
Erin Brockovich: Yeah. Yeah, sexy, huh? How 'bout this for a number? Six. That's how old my other daughter is, eight is the age of my son, two is how many times I've been married - and divorced; sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account. 850-3943. That's my phone number, and with all the numbers I gave you, I'm guessing zero is the number of times you're gonna call it.

:)) classic.
Dealing with a very likeable character, Julia Roberts has her work cut out for her. We really really like Erin Brockovich: bossy, bitchy, funny, politically incorrect in all the right ways. Yet there’s more than meets the eye, and Julia also manages to show us a different Erin, a mature one, dealing with emotional traumas caused by past lovers.
There’s a big arc of this character, as Erin goes from being a failure (as we find out she considered herself to be) to becoming a lawyer’s assistant, in the end respected by the people she works with.
As this is an Oscar winning performance, count on tears, rage, crisis, happy or sad moments.
The Bad & The Ugly:
Nope, nothing here. She’s in character all the way. It’s not all great, but nothing bad.
An Oscarish character done very well but an actress who, at the time, was probably at the peak of her career. It’s not Julia Roberts the movie star, it’s Erin Brockovich dealing with daily shit that we all have to go through. I’m thankful for that, as Julia keeps it natural and real. I’m going with .

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