Erin Brockovich : scandal in California
Before studying the ravages of drugs in the United States and Mexico with TrafficSteven Soderbergh examines the damage caused by an energy distribution company in Erin Brockovich, alone against all. The film opens with the car accident of this single mother in financial difficulty and looking for a job, embodied by Julia Roberts. Shortly after losing her case against a speeder, she manages to convince her lawyer Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her.
The latter accepts and gives him a job in the archives. By coming across a seemingly innocuous file, she realizes that many residents of the small town of Hinkley, California, suffer from serious health problems. Erin launches into an investigation and realizes that they could be caused by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, whose toxic discharges containing in particular Chromium-6 have contaminated drinking water. Supported by Ed, she throws herself wholeheartedly into this affair, hoping to be able to make the company pay so that the victims can get out of it and settle debts caused in part by medical expenses.
Aaron Eckhart, Peter Coyote, Marg Helgenberger and Cherry Jones complete the cast of this dramatic comedy in the line of The Idealist and Dark Waters. In 2001, Julia Roberts wins Best Actress Oscar for its funny and touching composition.
The small oversight of Julia Roberts
During her speech of thanks, the actress makes a dumpling. Overwhelmed by emotion after winning the statuette against Juliette Binoche (Chocolate), Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream), Joan Allen (Handling) and Laura Linney (you can count on me), the actress struggles to find her words. She then thanks on the fly the Universal studio, the producer Danny DeVito, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart and his other playing partners, the screenwriters Susannah Grant and Richard LaGravenese, his relatives or the director Steven Soderbergh.
Panicked by the stopwatch, she also launches:
Stop that stopwatch, it’s making me nervous!
A bit panicked by the timing to be respected, Julia Roberts fails to mention the real Erin Brockovich, who also makes a cameo in the film in the role of a waitress. Aware of a blunder, the actress catches up a few minutes later behind the scenes, declaring to E! News :
During this exit from the body, I did not thank her, shamefully. (…) I am extremely grateful to him.
While this oversight is very quickly pointed out in the media, Erin Brockovich would absolutely not have wanted the actressas she confided to vulnerability in 2020:
One of my children was sick, so I stayed home. She had a really bad sinus infection. I had a dress and everything, but I watched the ceremony on television. I told myself that Julia was beautiful and fabulous. A lot of people were like, “I can’t believe she didn’t mention you in her speech!” I didn’t think anything about it. It was time to JuliaI didn’t even notice it.