Erin Brockovich

I've never been much of a Julia Roberts fan, but I have to admit that director Steven Soderbergh coaxes a very lively performance out of her in this docudrama, which intermittently reminds me of Silkwood (1983). Roberts plays a young divorced mother and former beauty queen who rounds up 600 plaintiffs to sue the power company that's been contaminating the water. The script by Susannah Grant is standard-issue liberal feel-good fodder that in former decades might have been directed by Martin Ritt; Soderbergh deals with it respectfully and effectively without ever transcending its generic limitations. With Albert Finney as the heroine's boss and Aaron Eckhart as her biker lover. 130 min.


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