For our next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Biopics, here’s a review of Erin Brockovich by Kim of Tranquil Dreams.
Next month’s Genre chosen by Kieron of What About the Twinkie? is 80’s action flicks, so send me the review of your favorite film in that genre by 25th Nov to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it.
Take it away Kim!
Before we start the the write-up, I’m really not much of a biopics person. So, my repertoire is not huge. If it has historical value, I may possibly have fallen asleep through it. Don’t say that I haven’t tried because I do own a few, I just never really make it past the 30 minutes point. However, when I do make it through, I take it that its done a good job, regardless of how accurate the movie portrayal is. I never go back to cross reference much so I take it really for its movie value more than historical is really what I’m saying here.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Marg Helgenberger
Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is a single mom with 3 kids. After spending a good 8 years of her life taking care of kids and now hitting rock bottom, she tries her best to find a job but with no success. Thats until a twist of events lands her the chance to meet lawyer, Ed Masry (Albert Finney). She manages to convince him to give her a job at his law firm. While learning the ropes, a particular real estate case in small town California involving a big company Pacific Gas and Electric catches her eye and she pursues it deeper to realize that there is something questionable about what has happened and eventually, becomes Masry’s assistant in fighting for the rights of the people in the town involved and affected by it.
Its hard to imagine this movie was released in 2000 because I remember it very clearly and I was in my mid-teens when I first saw it. Those were the days my dad and I would go choose a movie to rent at the video store and come home to relax. Coincidentally, we were both Julia Roberts fans so it was a no brainer when we saw this was available. At that time, Julia Roberts had also won an Oscar for Best Actress in her role as Erin Brockovich. I guess this also gives this movie a bit of nostalgia since those were some of the most memorable moments I’ve had with my dad.
The story was based on a true event and Erin Brockovich is an actual person (seeing as we’re talking about biopics and all). I won’t go too deep but the story and case itself really does dive into the issue of irresponsible, giant corporations who would crush you with their money and deceit before settling. I am a huge Julia Roberts fan but I’m also going to admit right now that I haven’t seen all of her movies but from what I’ve seen, one of her most memorable roles is as Erin Brockovich. She makes Erin out to be an incredibly real woman like bad things happen to her, yet she tries to strive for more and she still has the self-respect to know what she is worth. She cares about her family but she’s also willing to be responsible for all she’s done. Although she does make Erin Brockovich out to be smart enough to know when to use her appearance to get through a obstacle, its really the street smarts and clever ways that stand out to her character. There is no doubt in this role that Julia Roberts is an extremely talented actress.
Any movie isn’t complete with just the actress and its really a group effort. The supporting cast includes Albert Finney as the lawyer who gives her a job and takes a chance (although taking a little convincing). Also, Aaron Eckhart as her boyfriend, who I almost didn’t recognize but his side helps accentuate the role of Erin Brockovich’s love life and her family and things that she had sacrificed for the case. The screenwriter Susannah Grant and director Steven Soderbergh also need a shoutout for making this legal drama not so dramatic by injecting a reasonable and necessary amount of humor in it to keep it fun (in a way) and inspirational.
Thats exactly what makes Erin Brockovich a really great biopic. She’s smart, clever, witty, responsible and still very much human because she still makes mistakes and misses out on life and has to make sacrifices plus balance family and work just like everyone else but she also reminds us that no matter where you come from, you can be better and to have self-respect and self-worth. All these qualities make her pretty inspirational to watch on screen.
Thanks again to Kim for this review.
It actually got me curious to rewatch this movie, so keep an eye out for my review of this movie later today. Do you think I felt it should be put with my favorites of this genre? Guess you’ll have to wait to find out… 🙂