Julia Roberts is one of my favourite actresses. I first watched her in Erin Brockovich years ago, and since then I’ve just loved her. There seems to be something wholesome about all the characters she plays and I find that to be super easy to get behind. In honour of her birthday, I’ve put together a collection of my top five films she’s starred in. It’s a fairly mixed bag, but I enjoy every single one of them whenever I watch them and I think it’s only fair that I share them with you.
5. The Pelican Brief
I think this is one of the oldest and quite possibly one of the smallest films on this list, but The Pelican Brief is not something that should be overlooked. In it, Roberts plays a law student who uncovers conspiracy that could be the death of her. It’s an adaptation of a John Grisham novel, which I think translate pretty well from page to screen. Whilst the story might be nothing that hasn’t been done before, it’s the little things about it that elevate it. For example, alongside the leading lady we have the likes of Denzel Washington and Sam Shepard – two people who can make anything special. It’s a really solid film that I think was a good addition to Robert’s early portfolio.
Now this is a film with a special place in my heart. Featuring one of the greatest on-screen arguments that I’ve ever seen, Closer is a film that showcased some phenomenal performances without a fat lot ever really happening. Roberts is actually one of the contenders in the aforementioned argument, and I think she gives Clive Owen something brilliant to work with as Anna.
3. Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven is a film I would love regardless of whether Roberts was in it or not, but the fact that she is makes it a tiny bit more awesome. I can really relate to her as Tess in the way that she is effectively surrounded by children that come in the form of Danny and his crew. This is also a landmark film as it marks the first time that Roberts appeared in a franchise. She’s a good female presence to have in the film, and like I’ve said, it’s all the more enjoyable because she’s there.
2. Pretty Woman
This is without a doubt the most iconic film Roberts has been in. Pretty Woman, and more so Roberts’ performance as Vivian, captures the hearts of anyone who watches it, even those of us who are the least likely rom-com fans. This is to romance what Die Hard is to action. What makes it work so well is the chemistry between Roberts and Richard Gere, which led to some fantastic improvised scenes that defined the film. It’s an absolutely gem, and one that I’m not ashamed to say is one of my favourites.
1. Erin Brockovich
I’m not sure that there could have been anything else to seize the top spot on this list. Erin Brockovich is a superb film about an incredible woman, and has to be singled out as the pinnacle of Roberts’ career. She was absolutely dedicated to pulling off a performance that was true to the real Erin Brockovich, even learning to write with her opposite hand for the role. It was dedication that paid off, as Roberts won an Oscar for performance at the 2000 Academy Awards. It is a tremendous film, and a retelling of one of those stories that you really couldn’t make up because it’s so remarkable. Phenomenal stuff.
So that’s my run down of Julia Roberts’ best work. To me, these are such fantastic films and I think people should give them a go if they haven’t already. What’s your favourite film starring this wonderful actress? It’d be really interesting to hear your thoughts – let us know!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for me to rewatch Erin Brockovich again….