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Who to Believe? What to Believe?

  • Sep 1, 2000
As is so often the case with a film based on a real person, this film continues to be at the center of controversy. I have no idea how "true" its screenplay is and now comment on the film itself. First off, I think Roberts's acting is solid but hardly worthy of the lavish praise it has received. True, it's hard not to notice her but she is hardly in the same league with Field and Streep who portrayed similar characters. Albeit less photgenic and certainly less energetic, Albert Finney (as Ed Masry) does much the better job. Given the tragic and potentially tragic circumstances presented in the film, I expected them to be the primary source of tension rather than whether or not Erin will get a job, win the lawsuit after the automobile accident, etc. As is, the film's priorities seem to suggest that Erin's sense of self-worth is more important than a cancer which has killed or will kill less glamorous folk. I enjoyed the movie. I wish I could admire it more.

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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #75
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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Much will be made of Julia Roberts's wardrobe inErin Brockovich--a brash parade of daring hemlines and Wonderbra confidence. Roberts is unabashedly sexy in the title role of this fact-based comedy-drama, but she and director Steven Soderbergh are far too intelligent to rely solely on high heels and cleavage. Susannah Grant's brassy screenplay fuels this winning combination of star, director, and material, firing on all pistons with maximum efficiency. With Ed Lachman, his noted cinematographer from The Limey, Soderbergh tackles this A-list project with the fervor of an independent, combining a no-frills look with kinetic panache and the same brisk editorial style he used in the justly celebratedOut of Sight.

Broke and desperate, the twice-divorced single mom Erin bosses her way into a clerical job with attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney), who's indebted to Erin after failing to win her traffic-injury case. Erin is soon focused on suspicious connections between a mighty power company, its abuse of toxic chromium, and the poisoned water supply of Hinkley, California, where locals have suffered a legacy of death and disease. Matching the dramatic potency ofNorma RaeandSilkwood, Erin Brockovich filters cold facts through warm humanity, especially in Erin's rapport with dying victims and her relationship with George (superbly played by Aaron Eckhart), a Harley-riding neighbor who offers more devotion than Erin's ever known. Surely some of these details have been embellished for ...
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Runtime: 132 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios

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