Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
“Well now you can defend me." (Wilbur Tennant won't take no for an answer after Rob tells him that he is a lawyer who defends big companies).
Inspired by the news article ‘The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare’, Dark Waters tells the story of how Rob Bilott went from litigator sub-contracting to the "big boys" to litigator who has, and still is, bringing one of those "big boys", namely DuPont to their knees.
It would seem the film is due in no small way to Mark Ruffalo's anger stemming from the article. Anger with himself for not knowing anything of this story, anger with DuPont for their dishonesty, anger at professionals (vets and scientists) who immorally devised reports to suit the needs of DuPont, and anger at the fact Ron Bilott doesn't have worldwide recognition as a hero.
In making Dark Waters, Ruffalo (producer and star), wishes to stand alongside the dogged, determined Bilott, and bring the story of how DuPont poisoned waterways in the farmlands of West Virginia to develop the toxic chemical PFOA in their relentless ambition to produce teflon, yes teflon, thus exposing 99% of the world's population to its toxicity. Did I mention the one billion annual profit? It's a conspiracy of the magnitude of big tobacco and what executives knew before The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer in the 60's.
Most importantly Todd Haynes has directed an entertainment deserving our attention. He has balanced the human elements with the drier scientific (110,000 pages of research) factors with great dexterity. Ruffalo always saw himself in the lead role and he is exquisite. Wife, Sarah, played by Anne Hathaway needed more fleshing but an extra 15 minutes on an already longish film may have been a distraction.