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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic and star reviving picture, 17 Jan. 2010
By 
This review is from: Erin Brockovich [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
After losing a court trial Erin Brockovich (Roberts) forcefully secures a post at a law firm in the hope of raising money for her child and doing something substantial in her life.

When the credits rolled and text appeared declared what happened next I had up to this point forgotten this in fact is a true story, which when looking back is a remarkable story.

Opening with the Pretty Woman actress conversing with a stereotypical boss type at an interview her presence is felt strongly and we know we are in for a strong drama.

As if to compact the genre into full flow we have a shocking car crash which ultimately leads to an unhappy Erin and the introduction of the law firm is set in motion with a staggering no holds barred meeting.

The plot continues to move forward with its main star, coasting through some powerful real life motions such as being a single parent, struggling with finance and having difficulty getting work. The realism it portrays is strong and can be associated with any viewer and the fact that this is based on a woman's personal experience may have people shedding a tear or two, which is helped along by a bravado Julia Roberts.

The actress at present in 2000 was in a run of a conventional romantic roles. My best friend's wedding, Notting Hill and Runaway bride had all appeared on the star's CV in recent years and here she branches out into a harder dramatic role that enables us viewers to truly see her full potential, which in turn was noticed by Hollywood who won her an Academy Award for her portrayal. I confess to never being high on her fan list but here we do see charisma and a no holds barred approach to truth telling and appetite for enthusiasm. One scene near the end where she is sitting with her boss and two lawyers is brilliant when she challenges her rival to name people and numbers, moment of the film.

The supporting collection of actors lend subtle support to the main star. Aaron Eckhart is brilliant if underused as George the biker whilst Albert Finney is a revelation as a man who knows too much.

Steven Soderbergh, beaten at the Oscars by his other work in Traffic, supplies the necessary dramatic styling of a plot not too high up on action and containing enough dramatic controversy and suspense to see us through. The scenes in the record offices are a bit stretched whilst seeing George with the kid is a bit of an overstep. However he more than makes up with it in the slightly humorous town's meeting and office sessions.

This film, though smart in its casting and directing has a certain lackadaisical approach to story telling. Though based obviously on a true story there is a lack of pacing a stretching of scenes, a feeling of repetitiveness that you can never shake off. Whilst the ending intends to be a feel good motive you don't ultimately feel rewarded at the arrival and to the point in which it got their.

And yet this is a good picture. A good film that is worth seeing if not too often.

7/10
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Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 57,127