As Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts earned an Oscar in this unconventional drama based on actual events for her portrayal of a twice-divorced mother of three who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins — with a little help from her push-up bra. She develops a case against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E;) for poisoning the water of the community of Hinkley, California. This biopic is about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who finds one man to believe in her, and then she delivers. An amazing story of an intelligent woman with exceptional strength of character. It is a story of corporate greed, and a David and Goliath tale depicting how persistence, courage, and determination can not only allow a down-on-her-luck single mother to succeed, but can allow a comparatively poor law firm to challenge a multi-billion dollar corporation head-on. Julia Roberts is brassy, sexy and strong. Here’s a woman, perpetually down on her luck, who gets herself hired at a law firm and uncovers one of the biggest corporate crimes in history. This is also the best late career performance by Albert Finney, playing personal injury lawyer, Edward Masry, who gives Brockovich a file clerk job. Brockovich takes the file clerk job to a completely different level as she finds some irregularities in a pro bono case she’s been asked to file away…medical records included in a file involve the purchase of a home by the utility PG&E.; Seeming to get the nod from Masry to look into it further, she proceeds to develop a case against PG&E; for poisoning the water of the community of with a carcinogen, hexavalent chromium. It’s yet another true story of yet another major corporation not just screwing but murdering its customers for money. This is a fine movie that gets its legs not from being caught up in the legal mumbo jumbo, but rather from the people involved. Erin and her boss work tirelessly to bring justice for the town’s residents and win $333 million for 648 residents, so she receives a $2 million bonus check. This case remains the largest court-awarded sum in US history. What an amazing story! The fact that it’s a true story makes it all the more fascinating. It’s very powerful and far more effective than any straight documentary could have been. It’s one of those rare must-see movies that combines great acting, great Hollywood values and shocking, scandalous, actual events. Julia Roberts shows a full range of talent, well deserving of her Best Actress Oscar for a masterful performance. Here’s where she makes the jump from fluff to heavyweight. Hers is a nuanced performance that always hits the right note. She is sexy yet wants to be respected. She is people-smart, not book-smart. She cools her hot-headed ways as she gains self-respect. Roberts absolutely nails the persona of a brassy, in-your-face, uneducated, but highly intelligent female. A mother of three who is passionate and caring about her kids and about the people she is trying to help — but combative and crude at times with others when she feels she needs to be. It is a powerful performance by Roberts. It was also great to see Albert Finney get one more meaty role for time in the sun before his passing. Aaron Eckhart gives a superb performance as Brockovich’s love interest; and Marg Helgenberger, as one of the plaintiffs, who has been stricken by cancer. Hats off to the real Erin Brockovich (with a cameo role as waitress). The real Ed Masry is in the same scene. The real Erin Brockovich, who appears in the Special Features section of the DVD, is a fascinating person. Look her up. Startling facts. Well-written screenplay. Action packed. No slow spots. Great, great, great movie! Both fun — and has you on the edge of your seat. A winner! 1. True story 2. Julie is wearing very little clothes most of the time. 3. Girl beats boy. 4. Good guys win in the end (I know I didn’t spoil it; you can see it coming a mile away. GREAT movie! My highest recommendation. I would recommend this film to anyone. I truly love this movie — one of my favorites. I can watch it over and over again and never get tired of it. This movie is inspirational! It tells us that one person can make a difference. I love it when people stand up for the right thing. More people should be willing to do what is right. We need more Erin Brockovichs in this world! The power of this movie makes it a must-see. Pass the popcorn. Docudrama 2000 R 131 minutes.
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