Dark Waters (12A)Cast: Mare Winningham, Bill Camp, Anne Hathaway, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins
Author(s): Mario Correa, Matthew Michael Carnahan
Director: Todd Haynes
Release Date: 28/02/2020
Running Time: 127mins
Mild-mannered defence lawyer Robert Bilott works at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, which represents some of America's most powerful chemicals companies. Ahead of an important meeting, Rob receives a visit from farmer Wilbur Tennant, who lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Wilbur is convinced that his cow herd has been decimated by a leak from the nearby DuPont chemical plant. With the blessing of his boss, Rob investigates.
LondonNet Film Review
Dark Waters (12A)
Review: A dogged fight for justice lasting more than 20 years exposes shady business practices and corporate greed in Dark Waters. Inspired by the New York Times magazine article The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare, director Todd Haynes’ slow-burning thriller details the ripple effect of a cover-up in 1970s West Virginia, which affects almost every living creature on the planet. Screenwriters Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan infuse a conventional David versus Goliath legal wrangle with jangling paranoia reminiscent of The Parallax View…
They tether the inevitable courtroom showdown to an unlikely hero, who sacrifices his health and personal relationships to defiantly speak for thousands of God-fearing men, women and children, who are victims of indifference on a grotesque scale. Mark Ruffalo transforms from muscular Avengers superhero to a hunched, harangued, jowly workaholic, who refuses to dodge his moral responsibility and risks flushing his career “down the toilet for a cowhand”. Oscar winner Anne Hathaway is poorly served in comparison as his on-screen spouse, who witnesses the heavy emotional burden borne by her husband as he goes to war against a corporate behemoth with limitless resources.
Mild-mannered defence lawyer Robert Bilott (Ruffalo) works at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, which represents some of America’s most powerful chemicals companies. Ahead of an important meeting with his boss, Tom Terp (Tim Robbins), Rob receives a visit from farmer Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), who lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Wilbur is a neighbour of Rob’s grandmother and has been persuaded to deliver a cardboard box of videotapes to the Taft office detailing the decimation of his cow herd on land adjoining a DuPont chemical plant. Despite his heavy workload, Rob drives to Parkersburg – “Welcome To West Virginia: Wild And Wonderful” – to visit Wilbur, his wife Sarah (Denise Sal Vera) and their children.
The lawyer is horrified to learn the family has lost almost 200 animals. With the blessing of his boss, Rob unearths evidence that the man-made PFOA chemical used in the production of Teflon might have leaked into the Parkersburg water supply. High-ranking DuPont executive Phil Donnelly (Victor Garber) frustrates Rob’s exhausting pursuit of the truth, which puts an intolerable strain on the lawyer’s marriage to wife Sarah (Hathaway).
Dark Waters issues a primal scream of rage on behalf of thousands of victims, some of whom lost their lives before the first cash settlement. Ruffalo powerfully embodies a stress-ravaged, crusading everyman, who shudders at the repercussions for his own family as he careens at sickening speed towards a physical breakdown. By the time the end credits roll and a title card reveals the shocking extent of the chemical spill, our hackles are raised and any traces of PFOA in our bloodstream boil with indignation.
– Kim Hu
UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Dark Waters
From: Friday 3rd July
To: Thursday 9th July
From: Friday 10th July
To: Thursday 16th July
Sat 17:00; Tue 19:45; Thu 16:30
Fri 19:45; Tue 18:50; Thu 16:30
Sat 21:00; Thu 20:45
Mon 19:45; Tue 20:00
Fri 20:00; Thu 20:20
Mon 19:30; Tue 17:30
Fri 20:30; Sat 16:30; Thu 19:00
Fri 17:45; Sun 20:00; Thu 19:40