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January 10, 2019 81 mins

ALFRED MOLINA IS OUR GUEST AND WE TALKED ABOUT ERIN BROCKOVICH

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
On the Bechdel Cast, the questions asked if movies have
women in um, are all their discussions just boyfriends and husbands,
or do they have individualism the patriarchy zef in best
start changing it with the Bechdel Cast. Hello, and welcome
to the Bechtel Cast. My name is Jamie Loftus, my
name is Caitlin Drunte, and this is a podcast where

(00:24):
we discussed the role of women in movies you know
and possibly love. That's right, and we use the Bechtel
Test as a jumping off point to initiate a larger
conversation about the representation and portrayal of women in cinema.
And if you're the Moss, if you're not familiar, the
Bechdel Test is a media test that was created by

(00:45):
cartoonist Alison Bechtel, and it requires that the story has
two female identifying characters who have names. They must speak
to each other, and their conversation cannot be about a man.
You think it would be easy, and yeah, almost every
movie can't do it. A lot of movies fail the test,

(01:05):
or some of our faiths, there's or like a barely
pass where it's like you should kill yourself Hey, that's mean,
and then it passes upsetting that was that she's all
that pass So whoop see for that movie. Today is
a very special day. It's a very special day in
backtel cast history. I don't know if our guest is
aware what a big deal this is for us. I

(01:29):
don't know. We we'll have to find out. I I mean,
there's a lot of lore, there's a lot of back story.
It's it's all been coming down to this at this
very moment. Yes, So, in the interest of not burying
the lead any further, let us introduce our guests. Yes,
he really needs no introduction on this all the time.

(01:50):
He is, of course, Actor Alfred Molina, Hello, Hello, getting
slightly worried. Okay, so we were afraid this might happen.
I don't know how adequately briefed you were on our podcast.
Everyone's getting very Also, right before we came in, you

(02:10):
were like, Oh, that's crazy, We're going into a soundproof
room nervously, and then we're like, oh, we're about to
really spring something on him, and then the soundproof will
seem even worse. We're just huge fans. Do we mention
you on every episode? Yes? Literally every episode? What why

(02:31):
on earth would you want to do that? It's on
our feminist podcast. We mentioned you in over a hundred
episodes in a podcast about how women should talk about men.
Don't flatted, but slightly slightly worried for you. We are
also worried for ourselves, and yet we're huge fans. We

(02:56):
regularly at the end of every show say, felt for Molina.
Wasn't an this movie? What's the part that we think
he should have taken from someone else? Uh? So we
have a lot of that conversation with myself. We should
swap notes. We'll let you know where you belonged in
movies you weren't in all right, called my agent let

(03:17):
her know as well. We'll do. We're just so psyched
to head. Well, thank you, I'm delighted you. Thank you.
That's very sweet with you. Yeah, so now you've picked
the movie that we're talking about today. Yes, Aaron Brockovich, Um,
is there any specific reason you picked this one? And
what's your sort of relationship in history with this movie? Well,

(03:38):
apart from just being a bit of a fan of
Julia Roberts, but also on a personal level, Albert Finney
and I are chums, and I sort of always, you know, whenever,
you know, whenever Albert is in a movie, I was
kind of go and watch it, because, you know, he's
one of I think, one of the actors that certainly

(03:58):
my generation of actors. He's a little bit he's like
about ten years or so ahead of me, maybe a
bit more. But when I was growing up and studying,
he was one of those actors that you sort of
kind of revere. I certainly revered him. I looked up
to him a little bit, and he was he was
the sort of actor that I kind of wanted to
be when I was very young, and he's always been,

(04:19):
you know, the kind of character actor that you know,
the whole generation of us sort of aspired to. But
also it was such a really really interesting story. I mean,
the the and and I mean films that have a
female lead character are traditionally and the general kind of
the general sort of intelligence seems to be that those

(04:41):
movies are harder to market, they're harder to sell, they're
harder to find, it's harder to find an audience for them.
Totally crazy. So you need star power, you need you know,
or you need a story that's kind of really compelling
and all the and it's true of that movie, there's
a kind of I think it's because it's not overtly political.

(05:03):
It's not a movie, it's not a movie with a
cause in a sense, it's it's it's it doesn't it's
not kind of proselytizing about anything in particular. It's really
I find it very very much character based, and what
Julia Roberts did with the role was so audacious and
wonderfully free of of really caring about what anyone thinks.

(05:26):
I mean, it starts off. I mean the first time
you see her in the movie, she's kind of in
a mood. She's like, you know, she's breaking out of something.
She she's she's got an opinion, she has a point
of view. And that I always think is the best
thing about any kind of story on film is that
you're not you know, she's not trying to please everybody.
The writing isn't trying to say, you know, this is

(05:49):
the kind of woman all women should aspire to. You know,
this is just a very specific woman who is going
through a very specific thing. And that that always I
always found that attractive and very entertaining, and you know,
but it's a story that has such heart and passion
and and her journey. You know, she starts off unemployed,

(06:14):
almost homeless, with children, a ne'er do weel partner who's
not kind of you know, pulling his weight, and and
and so straight away the movie starts with her absolutely
with the odds against her in every possible way. And
still there's this sort of you know, the guts of
it and the the rage, I think is what fuels

(06:34):
her as well, not just being honorable or being decent
or being noble. There's nothing in a way, there's nothing
really noble about Aaron Brockovich. She's she knows exactly what
she needs to do. She knows exactly what has to
has to happen in order for her to create some
kind of decent life for herself. She's very single minded.
She's not carrying, you know, the message of a movement

(06:57):
or the aspirations of other people. And that makes a
to me kind of one of the great sort of
heroines of modern cinema. That was beautiful. She's a yeah,
I'll give it to monologue. That's my audition monologue. They're

(07:17):
just explaining why you like Karen Braca. It breaks the ice.
Then it's the great equalizer. I like, this is one
of those movies that it's very hard to find someone
who has seen this movie and doesn't at least appreciate it,
if not is like a fan of it. Definitely. I've
seen this movie, as with many in bits and pieces

(07:39):
on TNT over a course of years, and I'd seen
it all the way through once in high school. Um,
but I hadn't revisited it in a long time and
rewatching it for this, I mean, any movie released in
the year two thousand. We just released What Women Want episode.
You're just like, this could go a lot of ways. Uh,
just like a span of years where things were going

(07:59):
on over the place. But I mean I thought held up,
I mean pretty spectacularly well. And probably part of the
reason is because it's rooted in a true story, so
it's harder to let a lot of the insidious tropes
that we talked about all the time into a true story,
although some of them sneak in there anyways. But I
really I thought it was great. I enjoyed watching it. Yeah,

(08:22):
Julie Roberts kills it, Albert Finney kills it. All the
good performances. Aaron I Card has a braid. You're just
like I forgot about that. I had flo like, Okay,
I saw this movie. I don't think I saw it
in theaters, but it was one of those ones where
I saw it within a year of it coming out
on you know, DVD or whatever, and I think that

(08:44):
was the only time I had seen it before rewatching
it to prep for the show, and I was reminded
that I really enjoy it. I love a good you know,
like investigatory. That's not a word I like to get
to keep it. Um. Yeah, I just I really I
enjoyed the movie. I think it is entertaining and performances

(09:08):
are great, and I like the story that unfolds. Cute
baby in the movie, A cute baby. Well, you can
never lose with a cute It's a cute cute baby
and cute dogs. Yes, it's a It's an absolute kind
of winner. I was one over very easily. The baby,
I don't know is it was an active baby. Julia
Roberts is having fun with the baby. Great chemistry with

(09:30):
the baby. Where's that baby? Now, there's a couple of things.
I think there's a scene, isn't that where she's holding
the baby and she kind of shouts at someone, and
clearly the baby is absolutely kind of like shocked by it,
starts to cry, and then she's carrying on the scene
and kind of taking care of the bay, taking care
of the crying baby, and you kind of go. And

(09:51):
my first thought when I first saw that, my first
thought was, is that her baby? Because it felt so
her connection to the way she was just handling the
child while while she was doing something. And you know,
you see mothers, you know, you see mom's doing that
all the time. But it was so seamless. Somehow she
she ceased to feel like an actor coping in a scene,

(10:15):
but you know, and she was still committed to the scene,
taking care of the chose. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
I always talk about like on screen chemistry, but it's
usually like romantic relation. I mean, the chemistry between Julia
Roberts and baby. It was two babies. It was twins,
which usually is what happens classic baby when there's a

(10:38):
baby that has to be in a movie. But I
had to do that on a movie once. I had
a baby a little month months old and we had twins,
but sadly one of them had a sort of. It
was a temporary thing. Apparently happens a lot when babies
are born. One of them had a kind of lump
on miss shapen heads, slightly misshapen head which was going

(10:58):
it was going down. It was something to do with
the once and now getting squeezed when during the delivery
or something. And so it's not it's not a problem.
But because it was quite prominent, quite pronounced, when they
swapped the babies over, they realize, oh, we've got an
issue here because one baby's shaped it. So what they
do is they put both babies in these terrible hats.

(11:22):
And I kept and I kept saying to the I said,
at one point in the drag, said, you know, I
don't know about you, mate, but you know, when I
brought my baby home, I never I would take the
hat off. We can't take the hat off because of
when we swapped the babies over, the other one's got
great big lump on its head, you know. But yeah,
but that twin thing is interesting because you know they
can they're not necessarily the same, very different temperaments. You know,

(11:47):
I love a lumpy head based continuity era. I think
that would be a first How would be to be
the person who goes into the continuity, be like one
of the babies seemed lumpy and some se but smooth
in others. That's just cruel. So yeah, so I saw
the movie and I liked it, and that is my

(12:10):
history with it. Um. This is one of my mom's
favorite because I was too young to see this movie
when it came out. But my mom and one of
her many VHS hills she'd die on, Aaron Brockovich was
one of them. And my my mom's VHS hills to
die on, as you know, our hit or miss. I
would say she loves Aaron Brockovich just as much as
she loves what weapon want. But you know she's we're all,

(12:34):
we're all works in progress out But yes, so she
she loves this movie as well. Shall I do the
recap of the story. Let's recap all right, and feel
free to comment to any time. Yes, we grant your profission. Yes, okay.
So Aaron Brockovich is a single mother, UM, and she

(12:54):
is unemployed. She is financially broke. We see her get
into a car accident that is clearly not her fault
within the first few minutes of the film, and she
does not get a settlement from this accident, and she's
calling her lawyer and masbrid that, of course is Albert
Finney's character, right, And then part of the reason that

(13:15):
she doesn't get the settlement, in the way the movie
makes clear, is because the jury is biased against her
because she's a single mom, because she doesn't have a
job right now, And so they frame it like, while,
you've got into an accent twice and right, he's like
everything about her to explain why she did it on
purpose and why it wasn't an accident even though it was. Right.

(13:38):
So a little bit later, she goes into her attorney's
office and demands a job, and he hadn't know what
to do. He's just like, okay, he's reluctant, but Steve
rolls him. It's fun to watch. You can't resist that
Crimson tide. This is irresistible. Um. Meanwhile, she's her neighbor George.

(14:01):
He's a biker dude played by Aaron Eckhart. Aaron Eckhart
with a rat tail. It's wild. You don't see it coming,
and then all of a sudden it's there and you're like,
all right, I'm in this. Aaron Eckart with a rat tail.
I've already seen him as I Frankenstein. I'm down for
this too. I love I Frankenstein in You're the Only
Person in the World too. That's true A million times.

(14:25):
Loved it. So she's at work and she is doing
a lot of filing at this law office, and she's
going over a real estate file and there's a case
that has a bunch of medical records in it, um,
which doesn't make sense to be in a real estate case.
So she starts to investigate it. She goes to the
town of Hinckley, California, to a woman's home Donna Jensen,

(14:48):
she's the person who like filed the case, and she's
like don yes, yes, and um. She says that the
Pacific Gas and Electric Company are trying to buy her home,
but she and her husband don't want to sell it,
and they are also both sick and p Jennie covered

(15:10):
their medical bills, and Aaron's like, wait a minute, that's
perhaps these two things are related. Yeah, and then Donna
is like, well, it's because of the chromium and we're
like what what what what does chromium? It sounds like
it sounds bad. Yeah, it sounds like it's like it's
like movie science. Movie science is not really science. You

(15:31):
just got to find a word that sounds either bad
or dangerous or mysterious. You know. It's like when we
did Spider Man too, Trium, what is that? You know?
I mean it could it could, you know, you could
you could take a word off the you know, the
the ingredients in washing powder, and you can make it
sound like some mysterious science. It doesn't sound good. You

(15:53):
don't know. But in the movie. I think the reason
why we but we buy chromium in the movie is
because of that. There's that little thing that the director
decided to do that when when she mentions the word
for the first time, there's a little bit of air
around it. Yeah, and it's like she goes it was
the chromeum and then it's like there's just like then

(16:13):
it cuts away to Aaron kind of going She's thinking,
what the hell is that giving us to? You know,
the audiences think it doesn't sound good, you know, it's
kind of clever. It's good good stories hunting. It could be.
It could also be in a superhero movie. I mean
I could say so I could say something to you like, yeah,

(16:33):
my my kids are really sick. It's some it's the flooride.
And then someone goes floride yeah, and suddenly everyone's kind
of panicking about floride. They're like, they told us it
was healthy, but yeah, we're all sick. They said it
was in our toothpaste on it's in your toothpaste or

(17:00):
all decaying from the inside up. There's no hope, and
it seems like the chromium can very easily becomes sort
of like this. I don't know. I liked how the
chromium was handed. At least it made sense in story
because I feel like often when a mysterious substance is
introduced into a movie and all of a sudden is
just like, well, we've got to get rid of this substance.

(17:23):
What do we do? Or is either we have to
get it or we have to destroy it, right, But
the chromium is just sort of consistent. It's more like
we just have to avoid it. They're still bathing in
the chromium for most of the movie. There's kids in
pools full of chromium. So she, so Aaron Brockovich, starts
to research what this is, and she finds out that

(17:45):
chromium six is the bad kind. It's toxic, what's It's
a chromium hex hexas tape something I don't know. It
sounded dangerous. It sounds like, what is the red die
that sucks you up? What does that redde number? I
don't remember which there's a red dye that is not
good And any time I hear about a red die,

(18:07):
it's bad. Love potion number nine that's pretty bad too,
And that's the worst. Red Die forty, what's what's where's
that from? It just does it's bad for you. They
put it in a lot of color food artificial. You
were talking about like a movie where they where they said,

(18:27):
this is my life. Isn't a movie that I'm currently
writing where red Die forty is the main antagonist. It
kills everyone. It's in like gummy worms and kool aid
and stuff. Yeah, our children are anyways. Now I'm gonna
just put on a good tin foil hat and go
full chromium six everyone. So she learns how toxic it

(18:52):
is and how it probably caused all of the medical
problems that Donna Jensen and her husband have, and she
also finds out that the utility plants that p G
and E are operating put this chromium six in their
water because it prevents rust and corrosion of their engines
and then that seeps into the groundwater. Um, so she

(19:17):
starts to poke around. She goes to the local water
board for records that might tell her something, and she
discovers that there was like this order for a clean
up that happened, and that all of this area around Hinckley,
California was contaminated with chromium six. Right, and then we
find out this was one of the story points that

(19:38):
I'm like, I wonder how based in the actual story
of aer Brockovich this was because this threw me a
little bit where apparently this whole time that she's been
she's been investigating the story for about a week, but
she didn't tell her boss or something like Albert Finney
didn't understand why she wasn't at work. Well, he seems
to never check his messages. That's true. She would off

(20:00):
researching and she was away. Because she comes back, he said,
he says to in the scene, you've you've been away.
You know we fight. You got fired because you've been
away a week and she am I remembering right that
she told someone in the office that she was going,
but the message wasn't relayed to him, so he just
assumed that she wasn't turning. But that's another thing about

(20:21):
the movie that I thought was really interesting is that
in the beginnings, in the early scenes when she's working,
because she dresses in a kind of slightly more provocative way,
in a more kind of you know, she's not all
buttoned up like all the other women in the office,
there's not a lot of support for her, particularly from
the women in the office. She she's liking. She she's
at loggerheads with them almost immediately, and which I thought

(20:44):
was which I always thought was like a really interesting
dimension in the story that you know, she doesn't get
a lot of support in terms of, you know, what
she's fighting for or what she's dealing with in her
own life. Yeah, that's that's like one of the elements
of this character that that was sing and at times
a little bit confusing, where women seemed to in the
world of this movie relate to each other based on

(21:08):
class versus anything else. And a lot of movies take
a lot of different stances on like how are the
people interacting, but there seems to be a lot of
especially once they start to get into the weeds of
this case, like when I wrote down in my nose
is like Aaron Brockovich is the poor people whisperer, because
no one else knows how to talk to normal people
in this movie except for her, and so like when

(21:30):
she encounters not wealthy people, like middle class people who
work office jobs versus service jobs, they just don't know
what to do with her at all. And then she
goes full Aaron Brockovich and it's like fuck you, you know,
fuck you. My kits are out, and you're like, all right, cool,

(21:51):
that's fine too. But she she's able to communicate. I was,
I was worried when it's so early all the women
in the office don't like her. I was like, oh, hope,
it's not that kind of movie where just the women
are constantly at odds and there's not a lot of
explanation as to why, and there's no nuance. But then
when you see her interact with all the women who

(22:11):
are chromium affected, she is very empathetic towards them and
gets along with them and generally gets along with the
women in her neighborhood and she's a good mom. But
it's it seems like the friction between I mean, not
just women like characters in general are mostly class based. Yeah,
and we can talk more about that, um a little

(22:32):
bit later, but yeah, that's definitely something that like went
off in my had a little backtel alert if you will. Um. So,
she she gets fired, and meanwhile she she kisses her
neighbor George, and they're starting to you know, winds her
over and the babysitting pretty sick. He turns into he

(22:54):
turns into almost like the perfect partner for a while there.
I mean, you know, he does all the babysitting, he
does all the cooking, he's kind of look at he's dacare.
He's like daycare's daycare guy. And but then, but then
the thing that really disappointed me is the way I
don't know why the writers felt this was necessary. Why.

(23:14):
I mean, I can understand that a relationship not working out,
but why that's the first thing he throws back in
her face, especially because he offered when they have that's
the first thing, well, you know, oh yeah, well I've
been I've been doing this. I can't remember the exact words,
but he's basically kind of saying, well, I've been doing
all this and you haven't appreciated it. And every time

(23:35):
that bit comes up. I'm always disappointed in in that
because it could have been so much more interesting just
to see the fact that this relationship just doesn't work
for all kinds of reasons, right, But but he has
to throw that in her face, which I always I
always feel it's kind of unfair. Yeah, like he's punished
because he did. I mean, like you're thinking, and he
does offer. He offered it, like insists, He's like, I

(23:57):
like your kids, and then he has this weird I
don't know was his job again, because he's like, I
work when I need to construction. Okay, So he's like,
I don't need to work right now, and I like
your kids and they like me, so I can do this.
So it's never like she doesn't. She goes to other
babysitters kind of at the end of her rope, but
never him. He's always fine to do it. But then, yeah,
he just throws it in her face, holds her career

(24:19):
against her. And that's another thing we can definitely George
George so fabulous now even with the rat tile. God
damn it, turn it. Did I burst a bubble there?
I'm sorry? Okay, So she she's she's kissed and George,

(24:39):
and then the lawyer at Masuri comes back and he's like, Hey,
any chance you might have been onto something with this
PG nithing And she's like, well, funny that you should ask,
because yes, I was onto something. Negotiate. She negotiates and
she's like, give me a raise while hanging out with
the baby. Baby. Yeah, the baby gives her a stray

(25:00):
with which to so nonchalant in that series, and she
does that more than once, doesn't she She uses that
negotiating employ more than once. And I think it's I
think it's a great piece of storytelling because what it
does it it keeps us as the audience, connected to
the fact that she's she's a working woman, she's a
single mother, you know, she's she's not all kind of

(25:22):
it's not all about, you know, the nobility of the cause.
There's a very practical there's a very real reason why
she's doing this, you know. And I that's what I
love about it. I love I love that she's she
never stops being, you know, a woman who's like really
working hard for herself and for her family. I love
that that was something that I thought was interesting and

(25:42):
it made the character a little more nuance, because it
would be very easy to write this character of like
she's a crusader for what is right, and she's and
she does do what's right, which also happens to be
advantageous to her in the know to the two point
five million dollars. But I thought it was interesting. She
is really onto something with this chromium six thing, but

(26:04):
then when she gets fired, she drops it and she's like,
if it were sort of a more like truth crusade
or kind of role, I feel like she would have
been like, well, I don't care, I'm gonna but she's like, no,
I have three kids to raise. If you're not gonna
pay me, I'm not going to do it. And then
once he compensates her fairly, she resumes. So I don't know,
I thought that was cool. Yeah. I was like, yeah,

(26:25):
you shouldn't do things when you're not paid. I forgot that. Yeah,
we as artists are often told to the contrary. So
so she negotiates for her to get her job back,
and meanwhile Pgnie is like, all right, fine, we'll pay
two dollars for the Jensen home and yeah, no thanks.

(26:47):
So then Aaron is approached by another couple who used
to live by the Gensens and their chickens were born
all deform, some snarly chicken imagery, some brutal, some brutal
chicken and uh. And the woman has had several miscarriages
and they're wondering if the chromium might have affected them

(27:08):
as well. Chromium you rascal, damnit chromium, God damnit chromium.
So then Aaron and Mazori start to build a case.
First they have like a handful of clients. Then they've
got like a dozen, and then it's hundreds. Basically like
what started out as a small real estate dispute ends
up in this huge lawsuit against PG and over six

(27:29):
people by the end. Yeah. And so meanwhile, her job
is making her so busy that she's not dedicating enough
time to her children and her neighbor slash boyfriend George.
I think eventually when they once they flash forward nine months,
I'm like, I guess they're official. It seems like they're
But that's one of the things I want to talk
about is their romantic relationship. But we'll get there in

(27:51):
a moment um. So she's kind of, you know, she's
missing out on some core moments and like she misses
her baby daughter's first word. Her maybe's first word savagely
is ball, but says ball, and I thought was ball?
I can't remember. I think I was watching it with a
a subtitle? Was the subtitle? Says ball? Dan? I thought

(28:14):
I was like, you watched it with subtitles. I watched
everything I watched you do. Yeah, I can, I ask
my ask why. I just find that I understand what's
being said. What do you find? Do you find though,
that you're spending all your time reading rather than watching
the image? I've gotten pretty good switching back and forth
between the two, between my eating and I'm curious because

(28:38):
my partner does the same thing. And I thought at
first it was because we were watching a couple of
movies where there was like a very strong there was
very strong Scottish accents, and I thought me, maybe she's
just having trouble with the accent, but actually she does
it with everything I do and everything. Yeah, it's and
I'm always when we're watching something together, I'm in if

(29:00):
you like this distracting, But I don't find it distracting.
If I'm watching a foreign film in a language I
don't understand. If I'm watching a Japanese movie or you know,
a Polish film that the subtitles don't bother me then,
but when it's in English or language I speak, I
find it distracting. It's weird. I think the first movie

(29:20):
I did it for was The Full Monty and then
because those actually and then I was like, wait a minute,
I understand what people are saying so much better when
the subtitles run. So I just started doing it for
every movie I watched. I think I pay closer attention
if the subtitles are on, Like, if I'm watching something
that I know I need to really pay attention to

(29:43):
what's being said, I'll do it. But if I'm just
watching something for fun, sure, but I'm so easily. Does
they have something to do with the fact that you're
a writer? I think so, yeah, because I seeing the words,
wanting to write the Christmas most polished dialogue. But I'm like,
what are they what are they saying? These people doing? Yeah,
I just want to see chromium spelled out as many

(30:05):
times as possible. Um, we need to take a quick break,
but then we'll come right back and talk more so,
UM to finish up the story. Aaron, you know her
career is taking off. Her personal relationships are not going
so well. George is fed up with her and he's like,

(30:28):
either leave your job or I'm leaving, and she refuses
to leave her job, so he's got addles. And then
ed Maysuri brings in a partner um without checking with her,
and Manny has to get her a car. Right, this
case has just become so big that they need more
help and more finances to cover the expenses and things

(30:48):
like that. And then Aaron gets off on the wrong
foot with the new lawyer. His name is Kurt Potter Um,
his colleague Teresa. There's a whole thing the air um.
There's class issues radiating from every interaction they have UM.
And then they also need proof that shows that PGNI

(31:09):
headquarters in San Francisco knew about the polluted water in Hinckley.
So they're like looking for that piece of evidence. Here's
the that part. Okay, are we getting up to the
part where the guy has that the bar has the
documents pretty close so a little bit before that part
is very well. Aaron's going around. She has to get
all the clients to agree to a binding arbitration, which

(31:31):
basically means that the case will only be tried in
front of a judge, there's a jury, but if they win,
they'll get the money a lot quicker. So everyone thinks
that that's the best idea, except for most of the
clients because they're just like, what did I don't even know,
Like I thought we were going to trial with a
jury and everything. So she has to go and convince
everyone that this is the best course of action because
otherwise I'll get sicker faster, right exactly, A trial could

(31:52):
last like decades basically. But then this this guy who
it's creepy as hell. This is okay, this is nuts
to me because I had to watch this seed twice
just to make sure I was getting it, because we've
seen this guy, I think twice by the time he
shows up in the bar, and both times he's like

(32:12):
staring at her in a way I definitely interpreted as
like leering it. Yeah, yeah, Like it was like, this
is a creepy guy with the hat. I don't know
who plays this part. He plays it very well, because
I was like, this guy is freaky. And then he
shows up in the bar and it literally for for me,
he was like he's going all the way up to
him like he's about to put something in her drink,

(32:33):
He's going to do something creepy. And then he all
of a sudden becomes this like god in the machine
of like, no, I'm not a pervert. I have the
documents that are going to make you a millionaire. You're
like what? It was just such a weird choice. My
first instinct was that he was he was like a
plumpt from from the company that he was going to.

(32:58):
He was like, you know, but but it's the way
he behaves that that this what's so weird. But I
wondered if I kept thinking, maybe that's the actor's choice,
you know, and maybe on the day, you know, sort
of he kind of he was convincing, but it seems
it does seem like it's an odd beat in a

(33:19):
film that doesn't have any other element like that. But
the whole film is rooted in a kind of realism
and a sort of you know, a logic that that
kind of you know, you can follow, and then suddenly
there's this weird thing. Yeah, I mean, you thinks is
he creepy? Is he? Is he a perv? Is he?
And then also when he when he finally reveals the
fact that he's got this information, even that's done in

(33:42):
a kind of way. I thought, any minute now he's
going to say, so what do I get out of it?
I thought it's going to be one of those scenes,
you know, sort of but luckily it wasn't. But it was.
It's it's an odd beat. You're strange because because every
other situation where a man gives or really anyone gives
arian brack of which you know, guff about anything, she

(34:02):
hands it right back to them and it's resolved pretty
quickly most of the time. But this guy, she she's like, yeah, sure,
can I get you a beer? And then I don't know,
he went from like creepy as hell to my cousin
is dead and I have the documents you need in
less than a minute. You're just like sure. That was
like the one beat of this movie that I could

(34:24):
not make heads or tails is And I skipped over
this part in the recap. But she receives an ominous
phone call at some point whenever someone is basically making
threats towards her, like don't snoop around the water records,
or because you've got three young children, we wouldn't want
anything to happen to them, now, would we Um, And
it does not deter her in any way. Um, But

(34:54):
I thought maybe the movie was making us the audience
think that, oh, this is that guy who called her
and threatened her, but turned out it's not. It's not,
they're not the same guy. It's it's weird that character.
It just threw me entirely. I mean, and he once
she gets the documents, you know, the movie resolves sort
of in the way that is consistent with the rest

(35:16):
of the movie. It just weird, weird beat. Yeah, because
that that's pretty much towards the end. They've they've gotten
all the signatures they need so that they can go
to the arbitration. They get the proof, they win, the
clients are awarded a total of three three million dollars
to be split among them. That before or after, I

(35:40):
would guess that's before so little old ed Masriy made
out like abandoned and Aaron gets a bonus of like
two or two and a half million dollars or something
like that, And that is essentially the end of the movie.
So I wish I'd seen it. Sounds goods in turns,

(36:05):
So where do we want to start with? Our discussion.
I don't know, there's a lot of stuff to to
pick apart here, would you. Well, the first thing I
kind of wanted to bring up is, so this is
I don't know if you could call it a biopic really,
but it's a it's a movie based on a true
story about a real woman everyone who is still championing

(36:28):
environmental issues to this day, so environmental icon Aaron Brockovich.
But and I think we've talked about this a little
bit on one of our Matreon Bonus episodes, that there
are countless biopics or movies based on true stories that
are about men, and so much fewer ones that are

(36:50):
about women. You can kind of count on two hands
the famous ones that are kind of in everyone's wheelhouse
that are about women, and then there's You're inne of
the Best, But there's Yeah, I mean, statistically it's way way, way,
way low. Yeah, And so I think it's impressively especially

(37:11):
for the time it came out. I mean, I have
to imagine and when I was reading up on the
history of this movie, even with Julia Roberts star power,
this movie was still sort of viewed as a risk
um and I guess during While it was being tested,
there was some audience feedback that was like, we love

(37:32):
Aaron Brockovich, she's the best, And there were other people
They're like, why is she swearing so much? I wish
she wasn't saying these bad words that girls don't say
those words, man and so. But but I mean it
seems like I'll at least a lot of it stayed.
And so I mean that alone seems like a pretty
big accomplishment, especially for two thousand, because who knows what's

(37:55):
going on in two thout the great don't know. I
was fourteen and what Women Want was coming out and
disappointing us all the head of the century. But um, yeah,
I am going to be inclined to just appreciate any
sort of like true story based on a woman because
there are so few of them even today still. I mean,

(38:19):
we've got our you know, Ruth Bader Ginsburg pick coming out,
but there's just so few. Can you ever forgives me?
And there is love that one, And but there's always
going to be the argument, well, you know, women haven't
contributed as much to society, so that's why we don't
make movies about them. And it's like, do people still
say that, Yeah, men's rights activists and you know, men's

(38:42):
rights activists. Is that such a thing men's rights? Yeah,
there are people who hate women and crap is totally agree.
Yeah that thing. Seriously, I'm not being I'm not being disingenious.
Is that men's rights there's like an organization movement. Yeah,
it's still I mean, it's like most prevalent on the

(39:05):
cowardly as corners of the Internet, but it leaks into
the real world as well. M R is I mean
we we sometimes get spammed like online by m R
is just absolutely dumping on. I mean the thing with
m R is they have a lot of free time.
So if I say something like most men are stupid,
they would not be happy with you. Okay, most man
of stupid. You're not wrong. No, but here's something I'm

(39:30):
I'm interested in, see your your perspective on it. Very
often with films where you have a female protagonist who
is pushing the story, you know, it's it's often as
in Aaron Brockoviet woman with with a cause, with a
with a reason to pursue this something an injustice of
some kind, or it could be like in the Sally

(39:50):
Field film, you know, when when she becomes a trade
unionist norma, and those are very the stakes in the
story are always very very clear. But I've noticed very
often that the woman in question has to be peculiar
in some way or different, or has to stand out

(40:11):
in some way from other women in order to make
it valid. So with with normal Ray, she's aggressive, she's
she's kind of feisty, she doesn't she upsets people and
doesn't care. And the same thing with Aaron Brockovich, to
a certain extent, she dresses in a more revealing way.
She's she's she's kind of much more kind of you know.
And I think that scene the sort of that that

(40:33):
the zenith of that in Aaron Brockovich is that scene
when they meet the partners from the from the fancy
white shoe Layers. And I think it's Vianne Cox who
plays the the the young female attorney who's all done
up in this the business suit. She's all kind of
very sort of stiff and and and they had that

(40:55):
in that scene when you know, when she just like
lets her have it. I mean, but they there always
has to be something that's very rare that they're just
they're just women, you know, right, yeah, you know they
have that there has to be something extraordinary about them.
It can get a little cartoony at times. I was
taking some notes to this, and I don't even know

(41:16):
exactly how to articulate it, because I don't think it's
necessarily a bad thing that there is an outspoken female
protagonist that is like really getting into the workplace aggressively.
She's unapologetic, and she's really going for it and balls
to the wall. Pent of the time. I think it's

(41:37):
weird that there isn't more diversity and storytelling of like
how a realistic workplace would work. I don't know how
much of Aaron Rockovich is directly how the real Aaron
Brockovich acted and behaved. I have to imagine it's a
little heightened because so often to even remain employed, women
have to work, you know, normally work subtly and play

(42:00):
the game to an extent and get work done behind
the scenes. But you don't really see that in movies
very often. I mean, the first thing that jumps to
my mind of something that even begins to reflect that
would be hidden figures of like women who are doing
doing the real work but are not appreciated, which seems
like more of a reflection of real life. But I guess,

(42:21):
I mean, even with Aaron she doesn't get I mean,
you have to imagine that like Masar made way more
money than than she did. It seems like they were
pretty much doing the same job. She was probably actually
doing more work than she was in a bog a frog.
My new podcasts coming out on what happens. But also

(42:48):
she's also throughout the movie, whenever she's trying to get something,
either information or you know, trying to get something to
to enhance her case, she's dealing with different kinds of men,
and she has to find a way to ingratiate herself
with all those men in a way that they will

(43:08):
respond to. So when she goes when she goes to
meet the clerk, who's a bit kind of you know,
a bit slow and a bit kind of you know,
deer in the headlights, and she kind of like you know,
just leans over and gives him, you know, gives him
a perfect view of her cleavage all that going on.
And it's whereas when the role is a male role,

(43:29):
that's never a concern, right, You're just you're just a
guy coming in saying I need this, I need that.
You know, there's never a question that you'll get what
you need. Society respects men more than they do women.
That's I mean. The way Aaron's sexuality is handled is
interesting to me. I mean, we were talking about this
a little bit earlier today, where this movie like sort

(43:51):
of straddles second and third wave feminism. For me, we're
a second wave is focused on women in the workplace,
and then third wave is more about racing sexuality and
being opened about it. So this is like somewhere in
the middle of that, and which makes sense for the
time it takes place in, but there are moments with
I don't know, there were ways to interpret Aaron using

(44:14):
her sexuality to get something accomplished that I understand could
be viewed as almost like a regressive fem fatale kind
of thing, like lean forward and get the information. I
don't know. It's tricky in the context that I would
understand if someone had that criticism as a negative. For me,
the reason it works is because you see, she's capable

(44:36):
in so many other ways where she's with any given person,
she seems very smart at reading a person and then
doing whatever she has to to get what she needs
from them in a few and like one one or
two cases, that's the lean forward. And it does get
like a little cheesy where I think at one point
she tells Albert Fineling it's called booms and you're like, okay, fine,

(45:01):
But but there's other times where she's, you know, frog
in the bog. There's other times where she's like busting
her ass going door to door, and you see her
be capable in all these different ways that it does
seem like, I don't know, like what you're saying earlier,
like she's going to get the job done and get paid.
One of my favorites is when she's talking to I
forget exactly what who exactly it is, but it's someone

(45:24):
who represents the Gas Electric company and she's saying something like, oh, well,
how much is your spine worth to you? And whatever
number you're thinking multiplied by a hundred and then come
back to it like she's she's using like I mean,
it's kind of aggressive and wild, but it's also like
she's she's really kicking ass with like getting her point across.

(45:48):
That's such a brilliant moment that when I remember when
I saw the movie that got a huge chair. That's
definitely like a big applause break moment and theater um
what you were touching on earlier, Alfred, when you were
saying about how, you know, movies with a female protagonist,
you know, she's got to be something outstanding or just
like something kind of extraordinary or unusual about her. And

(46:11):
I feel like that's kind of exemplary of the attitude,
at least of this time that this movie came out,
and still to probably a pretty big extent today, people
in society at large, because of the patriarchy, think that
women aren't capable, and you know, every women are just
kind of there and we're not doing much. But you know,

(46:32):
we've got an exception to the rule with someone like
Aaron Brockovich. So it's almost I feel like that might
be part of the reason that those characters are portrayed
that way, where it's like, you know, yeah, women are
generally pretty average or you know whatever, but every s
while one comes along, and I feel like that might
be an example of that attitude as at that point. Yeah,

(46:53):
And I think it's it's a it's an interesting contrast
to see what's happened in the last twenty five years
since that movie was released. How in the realm of
cultural politics, sexual politics, feminism, whichever wave we're on now,
I think we're maybe like the fourth, fourth, or fifth wave.
You know. It's it's a you know, things have changed

(47:15):
so quickly and so exponentially that I think if a
movie like Erin Brockovitch was now being pitched, I think
that it would be a very different film. And I
think there'd be I think some of the dynamics that
make the film so extraordinary to us now might not
even exist, like, for instance, the relationship between her and
her boss, you know, in the in the twenty five

(47:37):
years since the film was made, actually laws have actually changed,
but you know, to protect women in the workplace and
so on. So I think there's a in a way,
it's a it's a period piece in a way, but
but it's a period piece that kind of shines a
light on you know, what was to come, you know,
and that I think that's what made that also for me,
makes it a kind of really quite a quite a

(47:58):
valuable film in that regard. Yeah, yeah, and and fully
a product of its time as well. I think this
movie would also be much less yellowy orange if it were,
but hard to say a dusty look. I think something
that would definitely be different if he were made now
was and we were sort of touching on this earlier,

(48:20):
was how she interacts with the women in her workplace,
because that was like one of the only moments where
I was like, she's being pretty mean, Like she she
like fashions one of her coworkers. She's I mean, and
I but doesn't she do that as a kind of
retaliation for something else? Yeah, yeah, the way the women

(48:41):
that doesn't justify it, but you know, but it isn't
I mean, and Aaron's character is so she retaliates immediately
to protect herself, and that's like whatever part of who
she is, but it's it's I think hopefully if it
was made now, we would at least understand where those women,
or even if they don't like each other, we would
understand those women are coming from more because it's sort

(49:02):
of flattened in the movie where we get to know
Masury so well and and grow to love him, and
that's great, and I mean, you there's a professional respect
between the two of them, but you don't other than
kind of a pretty reductive like she dresses provocatively and
we think that's gross, like that is sort of the

(49:23):
only reason we're given, and that she's not good at
her job at first, which kind of makes sense. It's
like there's that scene where she goes up to her
co worker I think her name is Anna, and Aaron's like,
how do I do my job again? And AND's like Cia,
and so see, I don't I read that differently where
Aaron is asking a legitimate question where she's like, hey,
you know, she probably I feel like she probably knows

(49:45):
how to do her job well at this point, but
she wouldn't understand why there would be medical files in
with this real estate case. So she's like, hey, can
I get clarification on this? And I feel like this
movie does something that a lot of movies do, where
if there are women working together or interacting in some way,
they've got to be pitted against each other because of
society or whatever reasons we've decided that. But like, so yeah,

(50:09):
she's like, well, I'm not if she would just like
if Anna had just listened to Aaron and be like,
oh wait, that is weird that file would be in
with the real estate case. But instead she's just like
very dismissive of her she's incompetent. So yeah, I feel
like between that and between the various cases where there's
another person in the office. Her name is Brenda, That's

(50:30):
who Aaron fat shames on a few different occasions, it just, yeah,
I couldn't help but notice that she has what it
feels like, largely antagonistic relationships with all the women in
her office. And then later with the character's name is Teresa,
she's like the you know, upscale attorney lady who gets
brought onto the case later on that that's it was

(50:52):
like a combo of class and gender issues because there
are two lawyers in the room and she goes after
the woman in the room she's supposed to be working with,
which kind of is one of the more problematic elements
of Aaron's character. She doesn't work well with women. She
just doesn't seem to. That scene was really interesting to

(51:13):
be because in one way, like we know Aaron at
this point, we understand where she's coming from. She's very
like defensive about people assume she's incompetent all the time,
and she's like, no, I know this case inside out.
But you also see where Teresa is coming from where
you know, and and and and Masary kind of breaks

(51:34):
this down. I wish that it was more of a
conversation between the female characters and that they were able
to talk to each other. But Masary is the character
who explains, like, well, she went to like she you know,
grinded through law school and and has been taking ship
and lesser jobs and she deserves for years. So this
is why she's frustrated. And you you can sort of

(51:54):
see it from from both perspectives, but it's not really
resolved ever between the characters. And I thought that would
have been an interesting if they Yeah, because for if
it was men involved, there'd be a scene where the
two the two men who have butted heads end up
in a bar and over a couple of drinks or
a couple of beers, they kind of work things out

(52:14):
and you know what, I really respect and they end
up becoming allies in some way. But yeah, it doesn't happen,
and you know, it's a but that's why I mean, now,
if we were making the movie now that seem might happen.
I hope. So, I hope so because that was an
interesting dynamic that kind of was left because the only

(52:34):
other time you see Teresa is they sort of start
to imply that she's incompetent, which also doesn't quite match
up there, like, well, she can't walk around a farm,
so she think the idea is she doesn't connect well
with people. She's not a people person, poor people whisper.
That's like yeah, And but also doesn't Teresa get a

(52:56):
little bit sort of patronized by her boss Peter Coyote's character.
There's a little dynamic in there which happens in front
of Aaron, and and and I think it creates a
little moment of she's like embarrassed, you know, which kind
of creates a sort of tension. There's there's lots of beautiful,
little interactive moments like that. For sure. Yeah, we've got

(53:20):
to take another quick break, but then we will come
her back, kind of going back to just sort of
her general behavior and background and different things like that. Um,
we touched on this a little bit already, but um,
Aaron does dress in ways that could be considered provocative

(53:43):
or perhaps you know, inappropriate for a law office. There's leather,
sleeveless leather. When you see her, we see her cleavelange
a lot. And I don't want to sound like I'm
shaming her for dressing this way by any means, because
I'm certainly not. Um, they're good fits, but yeah, she's

(54:03):
rocking the look, but it's often used as an excuse
by various other characters to not take her seriously to
the extent where well, first of all, the ad major
character says something like, UM, you know, now that you
work here, you might want to reconsider what you're wearing.
It makes the other women uncomfortable, and I feel like
that might have been true. But I also think that

(54:26):
he's he's projecting and he makes him uncomfortable, and he
keeps stop making me horny at work. I'm confused. Then
she she's got that wonderful rejoinder about his ties. Yeah,
I love. And then later on the reason he admits
that the reason that he fires her is because she

(54:48):
left and didn't check in enough according to the people
who work at the law office. Uh. And then he's like, well,
you know, I thought you were just off having fun.
You look like someone who just has fun. But then,
as Aaron Brockovich often does, she comes right back with
some the retort of like Oh, well, if we're making
assumptions based on how you look, then you must never

(55:10):
get laid so swish. I like that she's always challenging
these comments about her appearance and the way she dresses. Yeah,
I really love that. And then if we're if we're
getting into the way that that translates to her relationship
with Aaron and cartwo a braid is. I believe that
the character's name and referred to in the movie. This

(55:33):
was one of those movies. It was tricky if like,
did this movie need a romantic subplot? I think technically
it didn't, but it did in some ways help flesh
out Aaron's character more. I don't I don't know what
did you what did? What did everyone make of that relationship? Well,
if I might, I think if it wasn't the relationship

(55:54):
with George, then it would have been it would have
to have been a relationship with someone or something else
in order to balance her life at work, her life
you know, on the case, as it were, because otherwise
then she really would have been just very one dimensional.
And I think the choice that she has this kind
of biker kind of you know, semi employed guy living

(56:15):
next door that she gets involved with was I'm assuming
must have felt like a as a suitable contrast to
what she was dealing with professionally, you know. And it
and it also it gives her a kind of there's
a I don't know, I know it sounds weird, but
there's a kind of there's a slight whiff of adventure
about that relationship because it's all about being able to

(56:37):
just take off. You know. The houses are restored trailers,
he's got a bike and a truck. You know, there's
a there's a sense, there's a sense that he embodies
the possibility of just taking off, and that's very deeply
ingrained in the kind of American psyche. So that kind

(56:59):
of gives her a sort of unit, a specialness in
comparison to the people who she works with, all the
women at work with himself, who all seems so kind
of anchored to their lives. And you know, because I mean,
I think more than once it says justifies the fact
that he's married, because I'm married, I got a fan,
I got you know, he like as if somehow almost

(57:22):
with an air of like resentment, almost you know, I
can't have fun like you do. I'm married, and I
think that's so. I think it was a convenient way
of balancing her as a character in the world. Yeah,
I agree with that. My main takeaway from it was that,
and I think I might have touched on this briefly
in the recap. But as we see her excelling in

(57:44):
her professional life, her like romantic and personal life are
deteriorating at the same exact time. So it's almost common
theme for female protection, right. And it's great that she
stands up for herself because she's bit He's basically like,
leave this job or I'm gonna leave you, and she
stands around and she says, nope, I'm not leaving this job.

(58:06):
So it's great that she's standing up for herself. And
it is I would say, fairly realistic that a man
isn't okay when a when a woman is working hard
and maybe resenting the fact that she has a job
and is putting a lot of effort into it. But
it just it does suck that we have to see

(58:26):
her personal life fall apart just as her professional life
is taking off. Yeah. That that breakup scene with them,
I thought was really My two favorite scenes between them
were when they met and when they broke up kind
of take or leave the rest, because there was an
element of his character somewhere in the middle room, like
he's a little bit too perfect, Like he's like, I'll

(58:48):
do whatever, I love you, go to work whatever. Like
there's not a lot of friction until they're very much is.
But in their breakup scene, I thought that that, as
frustrating as it is, it felt probably realistic of that
time to happen, and it did seem like the movie
commented on it enough where Aaron is pushing back and

(59:10):
you know, he has the benefit unlike her of like
if he's not happy taking care of children all the time,
he can leave, which is what's already happened to her
twice and sort of what she's conditioned to expect from
men who express interest in being with her, as they
can eventually leave because they feel like they're able to
and it's societally okay to do so. And the fact

(59:32):
that he does that was interesting and like, you, I
don't know, I didn't see it coming, but when it happened,
it made sense where he's just not you know, he's
kind of presented as like this gentle but like macho
biker guy who starts to feel like he's being too
domestic and he doesn't feel appreciated for the work he

(59:53):
does at home, which is not usually a complaint coming
from the male partner, And it's interesting to hear that,
but you never hear a female partner say I don't
feel appreciated at home. I'm doing all this work and
I feel like you're, you know, taking a dump on
me all the time. That is like, uh, could be anyone.
But his benefit is like, so I'm leaving because I can.

(01:00:15):
And when when she says like like, he's like, what
can I do to prove to you that I'm not
like those other men? And she's like, don't leave you stay.
That was great and he leaves anyway because men are cowards.
That was great and I really enjoyed. I wanted to
talk about the scene where they meet, too, because that's
that's first of all, he was so pushy, like he

(01:00:40):
I mean talking about not taking no for an answer. Yeah,
I mean, she she kept kinding on busy, I've got kids,
something this, I've got that, and he just keeps walking
up towards uh. You know. I think that is one
perfect example of how in the intervening years since that
movie was made that that would not fly. Now, yeah,
I mean it barely flies with Aaron, right, He's very

(01:01:01):
very pushy and does sort of achieve the like wearing
her down vibe. That is how those movie interactions tend
to end. It is like, yeah, he was a little pushy,
but it's just enthusiastic. It's not, you know, disrespectful, because
he even says, well, why don't you give me your number?
You though I've already got your address. You can't get away.

(01:01:23):
It's a joke, but it's real there. I don't know,
but at the moment I liked in that scene that
I thought was like really telling about Aaron's character is
she's still very direct and aggressive, but she basically lists
all the reasons of why she thinks no one would
want to be a partner with her when like she
just lists off you know, she's got kids, she's been

(01:01:46):
divorced twice, she's broke, she's unemployed. She lists off all
the reasons that are you know, eating her up inside
and then flings it into someone else's face of like,
well I'm unlovable, so get off my stoop. Uh. And
I thought that was like a great moment for that character,
and then he goes from being creepy to being perfect

(01:02:07):
to being a burnout and then he kind of comes
back at the young stack, which I actually appreciated how
the movie handles this, because the narrative hardly makes any
sort of deal of him showing up again, Like I
feel like in a lot of movies, especially when with
a female lead, where romantic storylines are such a huge
part of so many movies with a female protagonist, that

(01:02:28):
there's often some sort of huge reconciliation scene where they're like, oh, yes,
we've had our problems, but now this is it and
we're making it work and we're back together. There's no
such scene like that, and it just comes back. I
don't even think they get back together. I think she
just like called in a favor from him and he's like, yeah,
i'll watch your kids for a few days. Like I
don't even know if they it's ambiguous how it happens,

(01:02:50):
but I would he's probably gonna try and chill now
that she's a millionaire. I don't know, but um yeah,
I liked how the movie doesn't make some sort of
it's like, I know, I seemed unwilling to commit before
you were a millionaire but not transparent at all. UM.

(01:03:10):
A couple other just like quick scenes that you know,
made my Bechtel alert go off, is um. This one
of them is the scene where Aaron Brockovich is talking
to the young girl who has cancer UM and she's
gone through radiation and she's lost all of her hair,

(01:03:32):
and Aaron spends like a minute saying like, oh you're
you're so beautiful and you must drive all the boys
wild and like. And I understand what her intention is.
She's trying to comfort this girl who you know is sick. Um.
But of course the thing that she uses to comfort
her is you're still physically attractive. It's a comment on

(01:03:54):
her appearance. It's a comment on how she would be
valued by her male peers. And is an example of
you know what has been historically done a lot where
we place so much emphasis on girls appearance and how
they how much they appeal to men. And I mean
there's not that. There is an element of Aaron's character

(01:04:16):
that sort of subscribes to that as well, because we
learned that she was like a former beauty queen, and
which I did think was an interesting characterization choice where
you know, it's like, oh, she earlier in her life,
she it seemed like she was on a conventional track
to somewhere and it didn't work out, and now that
she's found a different track, she's going to really apply

(01:04:39):
herself to make it happen. But yeah, that that exchange
that that you're talking about did seem well intentioned but dated. Yes, yes,
I don't think that. I think it's far less common now,
or at least a lot of especially a woman to
a young girl, thinks twice before they say, well you're

(01:04:59):
pretty a lead. Yeah, definitely. And then the other quick
thing that set off my alert was whenever Ed Masury
towards the end of the movie, he's brought in like
the fancy lawyers, and Aaron feels like she's being kind
of pushed out of participating in the whole case, and

(01:05:19):
you know, she reacts appropriately and she says like, you're like,
you're pushing me out. You didn't tell me anything about this,
And then Ed responds by saying, you're emotional, you're erratic,
you're seeing everything that comes your mind. You're making this
personal and it isn't. And it's just like such a
common reaction to a woman expressing anger that is completely justified,

(01:05:40):
and of course it's It's often the first thing I
get said is, oh, you're a woman who's reacting, You're
being emotional, you're erratic, you're crazy, and that doesn't I mean,
she challenges it, but you know, it's just it's you know,
you can't help but notice these things. I don't know
how much there is to say about it besides that,
but I was just like, Oh, I'm a man, a woman,

(01:06:00):
crazy and erratic and emotional. That's example number eight bazillion.
So anyway, I just wanted to touch on that very
quickly as well. Yeah, I agree. Yeah, was that? Is
there anything any other topics that you wanted to touch on? No?
I think I've enjoyed this. It's it's I want to
go see it again. Now we're gonna watch it again.

(01:06:21):
I mean, there's so I love the way that films,
particularly films that somehow seemed to capture a particular moment
in time of particular you know that they're infused with
whatever the discussion appens to be at that given moment.
I think Aaron Brockovich is a kind of it's a
throwback to a movie that might have been made ten

(01:06:42):
years earlier, but it's doubtful whether it would be treated
in quite the same way now, you know. I did
a movie recently called Saint Judy, which is a similar
story about a single mother who is a lawyer and
who you know, fights for a very specific cause and
kind of makes a lot of sacrifices along the way.

(01:07:03):
But there's no there's no romantic element. There's there's no
George in the story. There's an ex husband, that's it,
but there's no there's no kind of romantic thing going on,
and and and that's an interesting it's interesting how things
evolved that way, you know. But you know, which is
why I think is why I said earlier. I mean,
I think Aaron Brockovich is really is a period movie,

(01:07:25):
you know, because it's it's kind of capturing something that
you know, a moment's twenty five years and that's quite
a long time in movies in movie terms. I mean,
it takes place in the year which is the year
that Jurassic Park comes out. You see the poster in
the bedroom. I'm always on the lookout for Jurassic Park reference,
and we get it in this movie. So that makes

(01:07:46):
it a terrific masterpiece in my mind, does if you
pass the BACKDL test. I believe it does. Yeah, it
does quite a bit. Yeah. Aaron talks to various combinations
of women who names we know and um, sometimes about
men but not always, a lot of times about chromium,
which is generally but also the scene where she's the

(01:08:10):
very first scene with Margemark Helgenberger's character when they talk
about the effects of this stuff, she mentions her husband,
but only as an example of something that happened to someone,
because the scene is not really about him. They're not
really discussing him. The context is chum. So it does. Yeah.

(01:08:32):
And she talks to Brenda in the law office, she
talks to Anna, she talks to her dad, she talks
to the other lawyer, Teresa. Yeah, there's there's a number
of scenes that passed by our standards, and Cheryl Crowe
is at the end every day as a whining road.
I'd forgotten that. When that came up, I was like

(01:08:53):
jumping up. Yeah, yeah, I forgotten that song Bob's It's
so good it um so Yes, that's a definite. Yes,
I'm passing the back total test. Let's write the movie.
We have a zero to five nipple scale, so we
rate it based on its portrayal and representation of women.

(01:09:14):
Five nipples being the best. I love that so sacred scale. Yes,
I would say I would say three. M okay, three nipples.
You can also give the nipples to characters in the movie,
or really anyone you want. Oh, I definitely give four
nipples to Erin Okay, great? Yeah, what what say you?

(01:09:38):
I'm gonna go I think I'm gonna go four. Yeah,
I think I'm gonna go for it. There's little things
that we have already discussed that are sort of I
think largely product of its time issues, but largely, I mean,
this movie is held up really really well. You rarely
have a leading female character at all, much less a biopic,

(01:10:03):
much less someone who is constantly calling out everyone on
the ways that they're marginalizing her in very colorful language.
I think the baby's cute. Albert Finney is great. Aaron
at Cart, it must be said, does have a braid
and a lettherst. So there's a lot going on. I'm

(01:10:25):
I'm here for it. I think it's great. I'll give
two nips to Aaron. I'll give one nip to Donna Jensen,
and I'll toss one to Teresa. There was some unexplored
Teresa stuff. Yeah, I'm gonna go three and a half nipples. Um,
because oh yes you can, you can revise your answer. No, No,

(01:10:50):
I'm not. I'm just thinking. I'm just thinking. Unfortunately you
have to picture it. We bisect nipples quite often. Um, yeah,
three and a half. No bulls because while it is
a woman who's driving the narrative, and she is, you know,
a strongheaded, brassy woman who does not apologize for her
behavior or her her status in life and any she's

(01:11:14):
got done. She's a single mom who you know, says
funk around her kids often and doesn't give a funk
about it. And um, she's even though she doesn't have
a formal education, which is something that gets brought up
as an excuse, another excuse not to take her seriously,
you know, she doesn't. She's incredibly smart and hard working

(01:11:35):
and she doesn't apologize for anything. And and it's it's
also tricky to talk about a movie about a real
person because it's it is hard to tell if certain
events or aspects of their character are true depictions or
if they're sort of embellishments. To heighten the tension or
the conflict, or you know, make for like a tighter
cinematic narrative. But but Aaron Brockovit as depicted by Julie

(01:12:02):
Roberts in this movie, is a character that I really
enjoy watching. And um, the real Aaron Brockovich love that
she's still doing a bunch of environment don't work. Um yeah,
there's a there's a lot to like about this movie.
There's a few things that I think it could be handled, definitely,
and like you said, it's a kind of a product
of its time. But um yeah, I'm going to go

(01:12:23):
three and a half nipples and they're all going to
the dead frog. Good for the Froghian anything. I'm real dumb.
I would like to take the nipple away from Teresa
and give it to Cheryl Crowe. Sorry, for sure, I understandry.
I just forgot that she was involved in the project. Well,

(01:12:44):
Alfred Molina, thank you. This has been my pleasure, absolute pleasure.
Did freak you out at the beginning, No, it's very
flat to that, but I must admit I had no
idea what you were talking about. But I'm very flat
to thank merge with your face on it. It's a
cartoon version of you, and it says feminist icon Alfred Mallina. Well,

(01:13:07):
I'm very pleased to be a feminist iconog someone out
in the wild with a feminist icon Alfred Mollina. It
is our fault. We can we can order you a shirt. Yeah,
Jamie designed it. Do the full, we'll do the we'll
do the work. There's pillows. That's weird. You see, I
can't wear what i'd love to wear. I'd love to.

(01:13:27):
I wish I was someone else now because I wouldn't.
I wouldn't be able to wear that. Can you imagine
walking around like that? It's like it's like walking around
with you. I start walking around with your agents phone
number on the back of your jacket. It's sort of
and trust me, I've tried that. It just doesn't doesn't
go down. Well, but I'm very that's very flattering. Thank
you very much, Thank you. This has been such an

(01:13:48):
honor and treat for us. Well then invite me again.
Oh well the second time, spoil it. Let's go back tomorrow.
It doesn't matter where year. So do you guys, do
you guys do this every week with a different movie. Yes, Yeah,
that's cool. Yeah, and how long have you been doing
How long have you been doing the podcast? Over two years? Yeah,

(01:14:11):
quite sometime. We've covered a lot. We did do an
episode on spider Man two, We did Cool by Knights,
we did's Raiders of the Last Time. Yeah. Yeah, we've
covered a few of your Yeah, I've stopped been talking
a lot about that lately. That movie I think I'm
getting I'm getting so old now, it's like it's sort
of it's like nearly forty years old. So it's that

(01:14:33):
kind of you know, people saying things like, so, what
was it like making movies in those days? It wasn't
exactly the silent here. But once again, we've been so
honored and thrilled to have you here. Is there anything
that you would like to plug? Angela Vine, which is
the podcast that we've been Oliver and I have been

(01:14:56):
working on. Oliver is the writer and I I'm just
I just playing my part in it. Um and it's
it's it's a great one for film buffs as well,
because it's it's a it's a sort of noir story.
It's kind of loosely, loosely based on the whole kind
of you know, um, is it the Blue or the
Black Black Dahlia story. And it's one of those great things.

(01:15:17):
It's basically like a movie inside your head, you know,
and every every listener will have their own their own
movie going on. And it's so that's that's what we've been,
you know, slipping our talk uses around town talking about
and that once again is the Angel of Vine Angel.
Check out that podcast. Thank you again so much for

(01:15:40):
being absolutely my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me.
We can do our plugs. But yeah, thank you so much,
and we'll be here next week. Yeah, see you next week.
Bye bye. All right, it's just me and Jamie. Now

(01:16:01):
Alfred has left. We just wanted to sort of regroup
and decompress from what just happened. Yeah, fred Freddie, he's
our friend. I think we held it together very well.
The dogs are then the second the second Alfred left,
my dog picked up on my vibes and piste and
ship on the floor. Um. But I think we all,

(01:16:22):
you know, while Freddie was in our kingdom, we held
we held it together very well. I think we did,
especially you, Jamie, I mean, thank you you did an
incredible job. Thank you. I was saying, your composure that
was a matrix episode level of fronting in terms of
oh I felt like dying. I'm so glad that you

(01:16:45):
brought up the merch because I was terrified too. Oh. Yes,
I also do think that our friend Freddie yes as
we like to call him as our friend, has just
a calming presence and it truly possible to be stressed
around him. I just wanted to shout out Brett Boham
from Forever Dog Podcast Network, um for helping us to

(01:17:07):
set this up. I mean, I hope it was worth
it for everyone. It certainly was for me. I want
to I can't cry or I would sure I Um,
I am very proud of all of us. I that
was so much fun and really a monumental episode. I

(01:17:27):
think we have to end this show just kidding we
have Yeah, there's still Haley Jewels, so um, I'm sure
there's a celebrity that I like that we would. Oh yeah,
we've all got to This is why people start podcasts
to me people they like, and then to gradually stop
doing the podcast too real But anyway, so no, there's

(01:17:48):
many more episodes of ours to come, um, but this
unfortunately was our best one there. This is the peak,
so after this we understand. But anyway, that was great.
Alfred is such a class act. I'm like freaking out
and and listen to the Angel of vine Yes indeed,

(01:18:12):
um and speaking of plugging things, you can follow us
on social media on the platforms at Bechtel Cast. Please
rate and review us. On iTunes, please subscribe to our
Patreon aka Matreon. It's five dollars for two bonus episodes
a month, which is a great deal. This month we

(01:18:36):
are doing Pagentiuary pageant movies, so we're doing Dumplin with
a special guest to be announced, and we're also doing
Drop Dead Gorgeous. A special guest is alphad Molina. Again,
one of these we actually would like to announce we
have a third chair. You heard it. He did offer
to come back and I will, you know, just send

(01:18:58):
that audio clip to him every once in a while. Well, um,
do you think it's like news breaking that Alfred Billina
learned when an m R A is. I'm just I'm
glad we taught him something, so why Yeah, I feel
like this was a very educational I think he got
more out of this than we did, which is crazy
because I'm not the same person I was when I enter.

(01:19:19):
I'm also very much kidding, but my dog is picking
up on my vibes and that he is piste and
shipped and humped since he arrived. He's just I take
full responsibility for the dog today because I'm sending out
vibes that are just sending him into into horny terror. Anyway,

(01:19:40):
we've got merch I mean, now more than ever, you
have to buy our feminist icon Alfred Molina merchandise. He
won't wear it, but you you have to just so
in case you know, you ever, if you're in l
A or you come to visit, you got to wear
it in the off chance that you'll encounter him, and
then he can be like, hey, I know that I

(01:20:00):
was on that podcast, So make sure you get that
merch at t public dot com slash the Bechtel Cast. God,
what a day. What a day? We can't where do
we go? Find exhausted? I don't know. I think I
need to sleep for like twenty two hours. Uh No,
I genuinely think I'm gonna listen to the Angel of
Mine this uh this afternoon. You gotta yeah, so yes. Unfortunately,

(01:20:24):
every episode after this will be disappointing because Alfred Million
now will probably not be our guest the Tribe. But
he did say he'd come back, so maybe he could.
What is a movie he could do that I wanted
to do? Something funked up? If we talk about a
movie that no women are in, we would just be
forced to have to talk about something else, like if

(01:20:47):
we did like The Shockshank Redemption, or like what just
tell us your life story? Yeah, just how do you
get started? And you know, to tell us everything. It's
a good trick. It's a good heck you. I mean,
hopefully if you're a long time listener, you know what
this meant to us. And if this is your first
time listening, hopefully it wasn't too confusing, right, and we

(01:21:09):
cherish you. Thanks for listening, thanks for your support. Well,
we'll be here next week. Bye,

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Caitlin Durante

Caitlin Durante

Jamie Loftus

Jamie Loftus

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