Erin Brockovich
**.5 GM
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

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I have casually made it a point not to see Julia Roberts movies. The only start-to-finish film of hers I've seen is "Hook," and since she's just Tinkerbell, you can't really call that a Julia Roberts film. Well, there's also "The Player," but that's a bit part as well. I mean, really, who wants to watch "Runaway Bride" for any reason? Who gives a damn about "Notting Hill?" Go ahead, sleep with the enemy. Maybe that'll make one less team-up with Richard-ass Gere down the line.

However, the fact that the year 2000 came and went with a lot of half-ass movies led to people still bringing up "Erin Brockovich" and actually pitching "Oscar buzz" her way for her role as the plucky chica what rustles up a lawsuit against a power company that poisons people. Being a half-ass reviewer of half-ass movies, I started feeling compelled to actually check this shiznit out and see what the "dilly-o" was with it.

This is basically your pedestrian "poor girl beats odds and gives 'em what-for" movie, and the fact that it's based on a true story gives it a bit more leeway to be generic. What made this a cut above the norm is A) Albert Finney's pretty cool, B) the focus of the story was NOT on some lame romantic sap that most of her movies revel in, and C) when there WAS a love interest, it was a cool long-haired biker dude (Aaron Eckhart) as opposed to the standard pretty boy usually paired with her.

So, since the only reason I watched this is to determine Julia's 2000 Oscar-nomination-worthiness, let us examine it. Although it's a pretty generic role, it does have some juicy lines and snippy rants for her to work with. I did like that she didn't immediately become an expert on all things legal once she began her crusade, but she also never really seems comfortable in her 'racy' clothes that her character has most likely been wearing all of her adult life. She's got a 'no-nonsense, in-your-face' attitude, and the movie often actually shows what mouthing off to everyone that gives you a slightly hard time tends to get you - unemployed and nearly unemployable, although, of course, it's that same "sassiness" that becomes determination once she's got a cause to work for.

Overall, though, she does a good job with it. Due to the relative lack of competition, I think she'll probably get in... although I wish it would have been Sandra Bullock in the role instead. I like her. She's purty, and just about any of your standard Hollywood beauty queens could probably pull this role off as well as Roberts did - the role is written that densely.


OSCAR ADDENDUM: How in the world can Julia Roberts WIN an award that rightly belongs to Zhang Ziyi? Of course, she wasn't even nominated because people had to read her lines, but watch those two films together and think about just who had to put more effort and ability into their role, and just which part any actress could have spun into something flashy enough to get attention. Ooh, Julia did a movie that wasn't about whether or not she wants to have sex with Richard Gere! GIVE HER THE AWARDS NOW. SHE IS MY SWEETHEART, BECAUSE I AM AN AMERICAN.
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