Movie Review Friday: Erin Brockovich
Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.Erin Brockovich (2000)
Erin Brockovich is the ultimate portrayal of the power of grassroots organizing. After getting a clerical job at a law firm to make ends meet, single mother Erin Brockovich sees a connection between pollution from a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plant and the serious medical conditions of people in the nearby town of Hinkley, California. Brockovich begins piecing together the case in an attempt to hold PG&E accountable, but soon finds herself up against a company that will stop at nothing (from bribes to death threats) to prevent word about their deception from spreading.As this is a true story, we're not spoiling anything by revealing that PG&E allowed a dangerous chemical to leak into groundwater, contaminating Hinkley's drinking-water supply and causing the town's residents' cancers, miscarriages, and migraines.
Julia Roberts is perfect as the tenacious but compassionate title character, a role that earned her a best-actress Oscar. Her portrayal of Brockovich's struggle to raise children and find happiness fits neatly with her struggle against PG&E.
Erin Brockovich proves that it can pay off for an ordinary but determined citizen to stand up to a corrupt company. Watching this movie can provide hope for those who work to make corporations take responsibility for the messes they create.