By: G. Castilla
Title: Erin Brockovich
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Release date: April 20th 2000
Main cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Marg Helgenberger, Conchata Ferrel
Budget: US$ 51 million
Box office: US$ 256,3 million
Rotten tomatoes rating: 84%
Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, tells the hard-to-believe true story of a foul- mouthed ex beauty queen who managed to put together a lawsuit over contaminated water with no degree whatsoever. She is an unemployed mother of three, suffering to provide for her family and even bringing food to the table. After losing a lawsuit regarding a car accident, Erin Brockovich demands that her lawyer, Ed, gives her a job. She starts working at his office, where no one likes her because of her big mouth and trashy, not office appropriate clothes. However, she is stubborn, curious and inquisitive. She gets interested in a real estate case, that unusually includes medical records, and decides to find out more. It turns out that the community of Hinkley, California, has been poisoned by chromium six in their water from the PG&E plant, most of them having cancer related diseases. By gaining the trust of the community of Hinkley, she helps Ed put together a case, which won the largest settlement in American law history (333 million dollars).
The movie received five Golden Globe nominations and won Best Actress for Julia Roberts’s great, inspirational performance, which was very well deserved. The way she acts out such particular character reminds me of Sandra Bullocks’ acting in the movie Blind Side, where she too won an Academy Award for Best actress - another movie I recommend watching. Erin almost single handedly discovered and built a case against a huge company, even without former education in law. She just was stubborn, persistent and had a real push behind her. Even when everything went sour, she sympathized with the sick Hinkley community; earning their trust.
Brockovich had to provide for her children and she didn’t want the hours spent away from home working to be for nothing. The movie poster at the time said, “she brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees”, which is a great summary of the basic lines of this movie. Erin Brockovich is interpreted as being a hero, although not in the classical sense, as she is a little rough around the edges. The character is quite quirky, as in the beginning there is a dialogue where her next-door neighbor wants her number and she decides to give him other numbers, including the age of her children, how many times she has been divorced and the amount of money in her bank account.
Although, this is a movie I truly recommend, it is not the type of movie where you can watch in any mood. You can’t watch it whilst looking at your phone, as it contains lots of details and information. There is a need to pay attention to most scenes to get a good grasp of the story. Erin Brockovich is a movie where you laugh, cry and smile all at the same time.