Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Susannah Grant
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney,
Rating: Won 1 Oscar: Best Actress (Julia Roberts). Nominated for 4 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Albert Finney), Best Original Screenplay. Won 1 Golden Globe: Best Actress (Julia Roberts). Nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Albert Finney).
Unemployed single mother Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly tackles a big power company that has polluted the water supply of hundreds of people through decades.
This biographical drama from the capable hands of Soderbergh (Out of Sight, 1998) is an engaging, fun, and highly entertaining film about a feisty underdog who takes on big business against all odds. And boy do we want her to win! Based on a true story (see Moviegeek Info below), the big business in question polluted the water supply of hundreds of people over decades with multible cases of cancer, infertility, and numerous other diseases as a result. This are regular, working class people who think they have just been handed a bad hand in life until Brockovich comes along and smells a rat. Roberts (Notting Hill, 1999) gives one of her best performances as the determined, hot-headed Erin, whose big heart and strong sense of indignation drives the case. She has been abandoned by several men and each time left her with another child. She is therefore understandably hesitant when her new neighbour George (Aaron Eckhardt) shows an interest, their relationship slowly develops and lends a balance to her pursuit of the case, which is relatively straight forward. But the central relationship in the film is the one between Erin and her reluctant boss, the independent lawyer Ed Masry, played by a great Albert Finney (Scrooge, 1970), and the two of them together is an example of an inspired pairing of powerful actors from different generations who master dramatic as well as comedic roles. Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich is a great underdog against big business film and hopefully a reminder of the importance civic vigilance and transparence when business and basic environmental issues collide. Highly recommended!
According to the real life Erin Brockovich, who has a cameo as the waitress in the diner, the film is 98-99% accurate.
Picture Copyright: UIP