20 November 2013 9:30 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

When making the adaptation of the headline-grabbing legal story of the decade, Steven Soderbergh decided to give its powerhouse character the title of the film. It is Erin Brockovich, a chronicle of the extraordinary story fronted by an energetic woman with little legal knowledge in a David-and-Goliath legal battle against Pacific Gas and Electric in an act of moral representation for the citizens of Hinkley, California. Yet the reviews and discussions of the film generally rely on the other name emblazoned on the poster and DVD cover, Julia Roberts, and her portrayal of the sexy, sailor-tongued guerilla investigator. It is pegged as a star vehicle, supplanting Roberts’s name in lieu of Brockovich’s in the summaries as if reading her persona into the film was the correct interpretation. It is easy to lob retrospective backlash at these readings (or at least see this as a genuine fault), and Erin Brockovich »

- Zach Lewis

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