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Erin Brockovich

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

Bad clothes, big hair, bigger mouth. That's our first glimpse of Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts). Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight), Erin Brockovich is based on a true story about a brash young mother of three looking for a job and instead finding a massive corporate cover-up. Erin Brockovich may remind viewers of Norma Rae and Silkwood; like those two films, the heart of the narrative lies with its star. And, have no doubt, this is Roberts' ride all the way. There's a wicked sense of ribald glee in listening to her run off at the mouth, but because the trash talk is coming out of That Mouth, backed by That Smile, its also hard to take seriously. The incredulity weakens the story's realism, but Roberts' star quality also makes her performance undeniably enjoyable to watch; she lifts conventional plot lines into rousing cheers as the People go up against the Machine. Helping smooth over some gaps is Soderbergh's exquisite ability to bring enormous humanity to the smallest details (as in most of the moments between Erin and her biker boyfriend, played with teddy-bear charm by Aaron Eckhart). Co-star Albert Finney goes American with ease, and Marg Helgenberger and Cherry Jones are memorable in their supporting roles.

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