Julia Roberts: Top Five Best Roles

Quite by chance, I have watched a number of films starring Julia Roberts recently.

For example, I really enjoyed her recent performance in Jodie Foster's Money Monster.


I then wrote a piece about top movie tear-jerkers and, of course, had to re-visit  Steel Magnolias. The following week I made a list of my top favourite 80s movies and reacquainted myself with Mystic Pizza. Finally, I watched Roberts' Oscar-winning portrayal of Erin Brockovich because, well, I just love that movie.


All this made me realise just how long Julia Roberts has been on our screens. I then started to wonder -  what are the five best Julia Roberts' movies?  


After much deliberation, here are my favourites:


5. Flatliners

I was shocked when I heard that a remake of Flatliners was being mooted. How could you even consider the idea?


I love this 1990 film for its simple Sci Fi premise and thrilling execution. Plus talk about your stellar cast - Roberts is joined by Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt.  


Roberts shines as Dr Rachel Mannus, the sole female in a group of medical students who attempt to experience the unsettling space between life and death. Spoilers... things do not go to plan...


4. Mystic Pizza

I loved 1988's Mystic Pizza growing up. So much so that I was worried about watching it again. Would it seem as good today as it did back then?


I needn't have worried. Mystic Pizza is wonderful and features strong, intelligent female leads. Roberts is joined by Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor and the three leads are warmly supported by Conchata Ferrell.


Each female character is treated with love and respect in a way rarely seen these days. However, Julia Roberts steals the show in Mystic Pizza as Daisy Arujo  - a role that surely set her up for Pretty Woman.


(Plus check out the early performance from Vincent D'Onofrio as Bill!)


3. Steel Magnolias

I have made no secret of the fact that I love Steel Magnolias. It has featured highly in two of my recent top film lists (top 80s movies and top weepie films) and I watch it regularly.


Of course, Julia Roberts' performance does not exactly steal the show in this movie. How could it when you have a cast including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah and Tom Skerritt? 


However, her character is certainly at the heart of this film (she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her part) and I love the scenes that she shares with Sally Field - particularly when she explains her desire to have a baby. Sigh...  


2. Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts gave a truly iconic performance as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. She

manages to combine strength, humour and a touching vulnerability that surely cemented her A-List status.


And who can resist that great laugh when Edward snaps the jewelry box shut (a scene improvised by Richard Gere)? 


According to reports, Roberts (who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this performance) wasn't the only actress considered for the role of Vivian. Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore were also in the running.  


I think we can all agree that anyone else would have been a big mistake... huge.


1. Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich won Julia Roberts her first Oscar.


She elevates this film from being just another cinematic, Sunday afternoon true story to a powerful, poignant and entertaining movie experience.


Roberts brings warmth and compassion to this role and never lets us forget the personal sacrifices that Erin makes for her cause. She infuses the film with wonderful humour and has such fabulous on screen chemistry with Albert Finney's Ed Masry.


The scene when Masry asks Erin how she is going to get some key documents is a classic and always makes me laugh - "They're called boobs, Ed."


What Do You Think?

Do you agree with my list of best Julia Roberts' performances? If not, what would have made your top five?  


Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment in the box below!


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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


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