SHE BROUGHT A SMALL TOWN TO ITS FEET AND A HUGE CORPORATION TO ITS KNEES.
Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts), a colorful, hot-tempered mother of three, talks her way into a job as a legal assistant and becomes involved in a case where a company has been dumping toxic waste, poisoning a lot of people in the process. Roberts had found fame and fortune, but this movie would also give her an Oscar; she’s perfect as the independent, thick-skinned Brockovich. The part where she takes down the Big Evil Company is reminiscent of A Civil Action (1998) and has few surprises, but the portrayal of Erin and her situation in life is compelling. An overlong but generally well-made film, with an outstanding performance by Albert Finney.
2000-U.S. 131 min. Color. Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Screenplay: Susannah Grant. Cast: Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich), Albert Finney (Ed Masry), Aaron Eckhart (George), Marg Helgenberger, Cherry Jones, Conchata Ferrell… Peter Coyote.
Trivia: Erin Brockovich has a cameo as a waitress called Julia.
Oscar: Best Actress (Roberts). Golden Globe: Best Actress (Roberts). BAFTA: Best Actress (Roberts).
Last word: “This is the scene in which I appear with the real Erin Brockovich. It’s a scene where I’m in a diner after I have lost my car accident case. I have no money, my neck is in a brace and the kids are being really rambunctious and Beth is supposed to be sick. The baby (Beth) was really tired and screaming at the top of her lungs and the real Erin comes to the table as our waitress. It was really daunting and bizarre to play a person when that person is doing a line with you. The entire time I kept looking at Erin and thinking, ‘what in the world is she thinking? She’s going to think I’m playing a terrible mother.’ Then, when I looked up, I saw that her name tag said ‘Julia’. I very nearly lost it, I tell you!” (Roberts on a particularly challenging scene, Urban Cinefile)