Tag: The Help

The Help

August 20th, 2011 — 7:31pm


The Help-rm   The weekend that we saw this move,  the book on which it is based after 43 weeks reached #1 on the NY Times Best Seller List. Over the past two decades there have only been four books that spent 20 or more weeks on this list before reaching #1. This indicates that there are a good number of the people sitting in movie theatres seeing this picture have probably first read Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel. In our case one of us read it and one didn’t although we both easily agreed on the rating of the film. However, when you have read the book, the characters are more richly developed in your mind and you can more easily follow the storyline. This was especially true such as in this case when the movie, which was written and directed by Tate Taylor, does closely follow the book. Therefore at times important points were briefly made or alluded to, therefore a tad confusing or requiring the imagination of the viewer or the memory of the person who read the book. The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi circa 1961 and shows that life for the black housekeeper-nanny-maid-cook employed by the gentry white families was certainly separate and definitely not equal in any way. Aibileen (magnificently played by Viola Davis) is one such person who raised a number of the white children in the families of the people that she worked for as did her mother and grandmother but yet is not allowed to use the same bathroom. Her best friend Minnie (Octavia Spencer) is treated like dirt by Hilly, the lady of her house ( played by Bryce Dallas Howard who must have done a great job because we detested her) . It is Skeeter (Emma Stone ) fresh out of college at Old Miss and a budding journalist who loved her own nanny/housekeeper  who raised her and is now mysteriously out of the house but seen in flashbacks (CicelyTyson). Skeeter ultimately has to convince a group of black housekeepers to tells their story so she can write “ The Help.” Her own mother (Allsion Janny) fills in the details for one of the most moving vignettes that reveals the fate of Skeeter’s black nanny. The movie is true to the book in providing insight into the underbelly of genteel living in the deep south of this past generation. It keeps it alive through the depiction of believable characters involved in complex relationships within the context of the times. It is a film well worth seeing. The acting could not be better and the story will be etched in your mind. (2011)

1 comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, History

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