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>
When Erin is searching for Matthew and Katy, in the second house she goes to there is a poster on a bedroom wall for Jurassic Park, an earlier Universal Pictures release. See more »
Her old car is hit in the right rear and spun around. The gray "primer" is on the door with no damage to the rear of the car. See more »
You're emotional, you're erratic. You say anything, you make this personal, and it isn't.
Not personal? That is my work! My sweat! My time away from my kids! If that's not personal, I don't know what is.
[starts to cough]
Hey, come on. Come on. Go home. Get well. Because you're no good to me sick. I need you, all right? This case needs you.
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The Los Angeles Times 1999. Reprinted by permission. See more »
The only thing bigger than Julia Roberts' chest in "Erin Brockovich" is the heart this film has. While it is a drama, it would be more apt to describe the plot as a struggle, because it's all about fighting for what you believe in and overcoming the odds and all opposing forces. Nothing bad actually happens in this movie, at all, but it's the complications, the setbacks the moral struggles along the way that make it shine.
"Erin Brockovich" stars Julia Roberts in the title role in a film based on the true story of a twice-married mother of three who is desperate to find a way to make a living and provide for her family. After a failed attempt at suing for damages after a car accident, Brockovich turns to her lawyer, Ed Masry (Albert Finney), for a job doing anything she can at his law firm. Reluctantly he accepts and soon Brockovich finds herself uncovering a potentially huge case.
Roberts had to have been a no-questions-asked best actress winner after this performance. As Brockovich she is incredible playing multiple roles as the loving mother, the driven working-woman, the troubled lover, everything. The mood swings are effortless for her. Perhaps the best element of her performance is that she comes across as glaringly flawed, even if she is quite likable. Her lines are killer and delivered with command. Though some of her rants are over the top, they're really clever nonetheless.
Finney's character is much the same way. He is really enjoyable to watch and gives a great performance even though his character never gets truly dramatic.
This is just a great screenplay by Susannah Grant. It's almost completely devoid of melodrama and yet it tackles so many real life issues. Brockovich's struggle to balance her work with her family brings up an issue that can connect with anyone, although the feminist tones of the film obviously won't connect as strongly with men. Director Steven Soderbergh feels very distant from the film. Every so often a shot or sequence will be artistic, but he allows the story to tell itself for the most part.
"Erin Brockovich" is better than the average feel-good story. When there's little melodrama and great acting, a feel-good story becomes a great movie. Sports films based on true stories are feel-good stories, but they don't get nominated for best picture. While it may all seem too good to be true and the positive seems to trump the negative more times than it ought to, the film still feels very real and one that no one should miss.
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