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David BruceA film about self identity and the importance of relationship over buisness. A post feminist view of what it means to be a woman in the 2000's.
-Review by David Bruce
ERIN BROCKOVICK
(2000)

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This page was created on March 18, 2000
Last updated on
May 22, 2005

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Writing credits: Susannah Grant

Julia Roberts .... Erin Brockovich
Albert Finney .... Ed Masry
Aaron Eckhart .... George
Marg Helgenberger .... Donna Jensen
Cherry Jones .... Pamela Duncan
Veanne Cox .... Theresa Dallavale
Peter Coyote .... Kurt Potter
Scotty Leavenworth .... Matthew
Conchata Ferrell .... Brenda
Gemmenne De la Pena .... Katie
Tracey Walter .... Charles Embry
Jamie Harrold .... Scott

Produced by Danny DeVito, John Hardy (executive), Gail Lyon (co-producer), Carlo Santos Shamberg (executive), Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Cinematography by Edward Lachman
Film Editing by Anne V. Coates

Rated R for language.

Erin is an inspirational reminder
of the human spirit.

SYNOPSIS:
In a world where heroes are often in short supply, the story of Erin Brockovich is an inspirational reminder of the power of the human spirit. Her passion, tenacity and steadfast desire to fight for the rights of the underdog defied the odds…her victory made even sweeter by the fact that while helping others, she in turn helped herself. Erin Brockovich is a stirring, funny and unconventional drama based on true events, starring two-time Academy Award* nominee Julia Roberts as the twice-divorced mother of three young children who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins. With no money, no job and no prospects on the horizon, Erin Brockovich (Roberts) is a woman in a tight spot. Following a car accident in which Erin is not at fault, she finds herself even worse off when her attorney fails to land her any kind of settlement.

With nowhere else to turn, Erin pleads with her attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her at his law firm. It is there, while working, that Erin stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files. Confused, she begins to question the connection. She convinces Ed to allow her to investigate, where she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community, which is causing devastating illnesses among its residents. Although the local citizens are initially leery of becoming involved, Erin's persistence and the personal interest she takes in their lives makes them listen. A kindred spirit, Erin is one of them, and her ability to connect with them on their level makes them comfortable, ultimately earning their trust. Helping her out is her next-door neighbor George (Aaron Eckhart), a Harley Davidson biker whose friendship and support allows her the time to pursue the case. Going door to door, she signs up over 600 plaintiffs, and Erin and Ed, with the help of a major law

 

The opening two scenes foreshadow the entire movie. This is a tribute to screenwriter Susannah Grant. The film opens with Erin interviewing for a job in a doctor's office. The ingenious dialogue establishes her as a divorced mom, who cares for her children, is not lazy and wants to work but lacks a significant background in education and work experience. But more, we also learn that she is not afraid of interviews, knows about sick children, is great with people, is an extremely fast learner, and loves geology and especially maps. These are all important tips to events that take place later in the story. In the next scene, outside the doctor's office, we see her deep in thought puffing on a cigarette leaning against a wall. She then walks towards her run-down car, revealing her unique way of dressing (which becomes increasingly more important): high heels, short skirt and a revealing top. But more, she is wearing a biker's Levi jeans jacket -foreshadowing George. Upon reaching her car she notices a parking citation (foreshadowing legal involvement), she swears (important to her character), and then opening the door to her car she breaks a finger nail, she swears again, pausing long enough to establish a big blue sign in the background firmly in our subconscious --which reads "Environmental" with a stylistic design of water (a glaring tip off). As she drives off -BAM- her car is hit by Jaguar driven by a highly paid doctor (symbolic of mega wealthy Pacific Gas and Electric later on) creating another legal matter (also important). Interestingly, the accident happens on Lankershim Blvd. not too far from Magnolia Ave (the subject of the film Magnolia) and her home is located in the San Fernando Valley (the location of many other recent films).

There it is, all the major elements in the movie hinted at in first 5 minutes! Excellent writing. Susannah Grant also demonstrated her amazing writing ability in Ever After and 28 days.

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