A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself".
Erin Brockovich-Ellis is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
A tenacious file clerk for a small law firm, curious about some information included in the file of a pro bono case, purses it and ultimately becomes a major player in a huge lawsuit involving hundreds of people in `Erin Brockovich,' a movie based on actual events, directed by Steven Soderbergh. When Erin (Julia Roberts) questions why medical records are included in the file of a simple real estate transaction between a public utilities company and some homeowners in the town of Hinckley, California, she uncovers information that PG&E may have been responsible for water pollution that may have caused widespread illness and even death among the citizens of Hinckley. But truth is one thing, and having the resources to fight a company worth billions of dollars is another. And that's the problem that falls into the lap of lawyer Ed Masry (Albert Finney), owner of the law firm that employs Brockovich. Millions of dollars, as well as justice for those who have been harmed is at stake, but it's a case of David versus Goliath, and Masry has reservations as to whether or not he is up to the task; the meager resources of his firm will only go so far, while the utility could tie them up in court for years and not feel a thing. Masry, however, has something else to consider: Erin Brockovich, who has latched on to this case harder than a pit bull on a mailman's trousers. Julia Roberts gives one of the best performances of her career in this film, as the sassy, brazen Brockovich, who tells it like it is and won't take `no' for an answer. She captures ever grain of realism in bringing Erin's story to life; this woman who was down on her luck, but refused to give in to circumstances that overwhelmingly stacked the odds against her. She perfectly conveys the sense of frustration felt by this single mother of three who, unemployed, and with no help or prospects in sight, simply would not quit on her own life or let her children down. It's a gritty, charismatic performance with a depth that aptly demonstrates what kind of person Brockovich really is; not a portrait of a superwoman or a story made up of overblown, feigned heroics, but of a self-assured, very real person with too much pride and integrity to turn away from the truth and people in need. Albert Finney is also outstanding as Masry, the honest, hard working lawyer who finds his horizons somewhat expanded by Erin's zeal. He's something of a decent, regular guy with a good marriage, small but successful practice and diabetes. And Finney brings him to life with a performance that should get him an Oscar nomination at the very least. It's tough taking the part of an average Joe and making him memorable, and it's a credit to Finney's ability as an actor that he succeeds so well in doing so. The solid supporting cast includes Aaron Eckhart, exemplary in his role of George, the man in Erin's life; Marg Helgenberger (Donna Jensen); Cherry Jones (Pamela Duncan); Peter Coyote (Kurt Potter); and Conchata Ferrell (Brenda). One of the best movies of the year, `Erin Brockovich' is a well made, absorbing and entertaining drama, well directed and superbly acted, especially by Roberts and Finney; it's theme of the underdog fighting for justice has a universal appeal that will get the adrenaline pumping and engage you emotionally. It's a great story, with Julia Roberts at her very best. This is one you do not want to miss. I rate this one 10/10.
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