131 Min | Biography – Drama | April 2000
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Erin Brockovich Review: 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.
In Erin Brockovich, 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. 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, Erin Brockovich still feels very real and one that no one should miss.