The true story of an unemployed single mother who uncovered a massive water company conspiracy and helped hundreds of families get justice.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Susannah Grant
Starring Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart,
Marg Helgenberger, Cherry Jones, Tracey Walter
Oscar Wins - Best Actress (Julia Roberts)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Albert Finney), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay
The story of Erin Brockovich and her fight to take down the PG&E Water Company has become the ultimate David vs. Goliath story of modern America. She was an unemployed single mother of three who convinced her lawyer to give her a job, which gave her the opportunity to see how the water company was knowingly poisoning the town of Hinkley, California. It's the film that won superstar Julia Roberts her Oscar, and it's a performance that deserved the win. More so, it was a huge box office success and shined a light on the plight of the little guy in America.
After getting in a car crash and losing the ensuing lawsuit, Erin Brockovich (Roberts) essentially bullies her lawyer Ed Masry (Finney) into giving her a job. As a legal assistant, Erin stumbles onto a property acquisition by PG&E, and further investigation shows that every home in Hinkley that has PG&E water is suffering severe medical problems ranging from cancer to multiple miscarriages. Erin convinces Ed to start a class action lawsuit against the water company, starting one of the biggest upsets in California history. And it's all thanks to Erin Brockovich, an abrasive, take-no-shit single mom who refused to let a bunch of rich assholes poison people and get away with it.
Steven Soderbergh takes what could've been a fairly by-the-numbers biopic, and makes it intriguing and entertaining from start to finish. Julia Roberts and Albert Finney are fantastic together, and really makes Erin & Ed's unique relationship shine through as one of the best aspects of the movie. I love stories where big companies are taken to task for their crimes, and this film is one of the best in that upsetting but often uplifting subgenre.