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Legal Films 2016 – With Kingsley Raffael

I am not sure I can pass this review off as credible as BBC 1’s Film 2016 with Claudia Winkleman; but that said I am sure when she took over from Barry Norman she may have said a very similar thing.

As so many, I am a massive lover of films, be it the classic Hollywood Blockbusters such as recently Oscar nominated Revenant or blood and violence as in the ever so slightly warped Tarrantino’s The Hateful 8.

This review however is to focus on films that are some way connected to Law. I was saddened when I started the review as I have struggled to find a British legal film that I thought would sit in my list.  As a true advocate for both British actors and directors it did disappoint me but maybe in a future edition I can focus on the criminal fraternity and most certainly English films will feature highly with the likes of the Krays & the Great Train Robbery.

The films I have chosen for review have stayed the test of time and have featured some very famous actors from across the sea and I would never dare to place them in any kind of order, so I will leave that up to you?  I wonder if Barry or Claudia would be so gracious….

Erin Brockovich – 2000                                Area of Law – Civil Litigation

This true story from 1993 based on one of the US’s biggest ever civil law suits is the real David & Goliath Story.  Erin Brockovich played by Julia Roberts is a single mother of three who is struggling to make ends meet and after being in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) she lands an assistant role with the law firm handling her case.  The story tells both the determination and tenacity of a woman to not only improve her own personal circumstances but that of so many of the victims that suffered at the hands of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E).  After a number of years of litigation and dispute relating to illness and fatality due to chemical poisoning PG&E were ordered to pay out over $330 million dollars to over 600 plaintiffs.  Let it be noted that at this stage Erin was not in away legal trained, and I am sure there are a number of litigious lawyers that would like this on their CV.

Kramer V’s Kramer – 1979                           Area of Law – Matrimonial / Family

Arguably the most famous and tear jerking story of a broken home.  This film depicts the story of an estranged husband and wife and the battle of custody over their only son.  In truth the story would be very controversial today as it assumes that a child would be better off with the mother, albeit in this case she had left to pursue a life way from the family home for over 18 months.  The parents superbly portrayed by Dustin Hoffmann and Meryl Streep seek to gain custody and after a drawn out court case Meryl Streep’s character wins  custody and on the day she is due to collect her son she realises that he will be better off living with his father.  I am sure in modern family law there would have been a strong case for mediation to protect all parties as generally children will always benefit from having relationship with both parents.  A must see but have a box of handkerchiefs at the ready!

A Few Good Men – 1992                              Area of Law – Military Law

This is a specialist area of law and as in this film would be kept in house or behind close doors with military lawyers to avoid embarrassment.  The story is based around two private soldiers who were following orders from Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) of carrying out a “code red” on another private.  Subsequently the private commits suicide and an internal investigation is ordered.  This courtroom drama develops focusing very much on the relationship between the highly decorated Jessup and the up start Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), who had been given the case to defend the two privates as he had never seen the inside of a military court room.  The story builds to a climax and sees Nicholson and Cruise push each other to an explosive final scene….. a must see!!


Tune in next time when I will be reviewing To Kill a Mocking Bird, Philadelphia and A Man for all Seasons, and in the meantime if you would like to recommend a film for review or discuss any legal opportunities please contact me via our website www.lawconsultants.co.uk






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