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Erin Brockovich (2000)

A movie directed by Steven Soderbergh

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Once again, it's Hollywood 1, Truth 0. . .

  • Oct 6, 2000
Ok, so maybe I just don't get it. I guess that I'm in the extreme minority here -- but I didn't much care for the movie "Erin Brockovich". I didn't find Brockovich to be an admirable person, much less a hero, and I have grave disappointments concerning the fidelity of the movie to actual events.

Item: Repeatedly throughout the movie, Ms. Brockovich is portrayed as "doing this for her children" or some similar line. Yet her home life was chaotic at best, her relationship with her kids was awful, and her relationship with her boyfriend (who actually DID seem to care for the kids) was also unimpressive. (She has since dumped him.)

Item: The movie played fast and loose with the actual facts of the matter. In the months since the movie's release, numerous syndicated columnists have demonstrated scientific inaccuracies, fiscal irregularities as far as payments to "victims", exorbident attorney's fees, etc.

Item: The heroic attorney figure has, in real life, not tended toward the highest examples of the ethics of his profession. He was a religious cult lawyer, an attorney FOR polluters, and was a convicted felon.

Item: In real life, many residents of Hinckly are terribly bitter toward Brockovich.

It's politically correct, nowadays, to bash large corporations as intrinsically evil. For that matter, it's also politically correct to promote "single mother makes good" themes. But the real facts of the story show that the movie heros aren't at all what they seem.

But once again, Hollywood wins. The REAL victim is the truth.

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David Zampino ()
Ranked #307
I am a 44-year-old historian and theologian.
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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 fromThe 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 of Norma Rae and Silkwood, 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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Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screen Writer: Susannah Grant
DVD Release Date: August 15, 2000
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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