BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY Erin Brockovich★★★★ 10.55pm-1.35am Movie Mix
Julia Roberts always seems to act best when dressed as a tart. She was stunning as the hooker in Pretty Woman and equally stunning as the more respectable but still hooker-clad heroine here. Maybe the comparative absence of clothes frees her from inhibitions. Whatever, in plunging necklines and skimpy skirts she won the Oscar as the eponymous and real-life Erin, who uncovered an enormous environmental crime. A divorced, unemployed single mother, Brockovich (who, incidentally, dressed as Roberts does in the film) parleyed her way into a job as assistant to a lawyer (Albert Finney), who had failed to win her a damages claim. From there, entirely off her own bat, she successfully investigated claims that pollution caused by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company had caused all manner of diseases up to and including cancer. Steven Soderbergh’s film is essentially about an apparent no-hoper, who found a sense of self-worth. It’s sharp and lively, and both Roberts and Finney are on excellent form.
Everyone’s favourite delivery man gets a CGI makeover for his debut feature. But all is not well in Greendale, as Pat is refused the bonus he needs to pay for a honeymoon, so tries his luck at a TV talent contest hosted by, ahem, Simon Cowbell.
Pierce Brosnan’s second outing as 007 finds him teaming up with high-kicking Chinese agent Michelle Yeoh to thwart the plans of a megalomaniac press baron, played with mouth-frothing glee by Jonathan Pryce.
Gary Oldman was at his scenery-chewing best when he played the villain in this 90s blockbuster. Midair mayhem ensues when Oldman’s Russian terrorist group seizes control of the President’s plane. But seeing as this Commander-in-Chief is played by Harrison Ford, he’s not going to come quietly.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news