Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Help-review

Excuse me? Do you know where I can find the liquor department?
            “The Help” is about a girl named Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, played by Emma Stone, who comes back from college to find her beloved childhood maid gone.  Aibileen Clark, played by Viola Davis and Minny Jackson, played by Octavia Spencer are both African-American maids who struggle to make ends meet and get through their daily lives.  Skeeter decides to write about their stories from the perspective of the house help raising white kids and taking care of families in 1960s Mississippi.

One of these women has rum in their Coke. Can you guess which one?
            That is the short of the plot and as a whole it tackles a lot about racial lines in 1960s.  The cast is very believable and realistic for the time period; Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer really bring their characters to life.  A few other actresses that stood out as great in making this movie more spectacular was Sissy Spacek, Allison Janney, Jessica Chastain, and Bryce Dallas Howard.   A lot of credit goes to Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard’s Daughter FYI), who plays the racist, snooty, rich bitch in town.  I have seen her play a lot of roles in the past but never one like this.  Well done at making an audience hate you so much.

I see EVERYONE forgot their white hoods this meeting.
            It’s a really good movie.  I had a feeling with “Easy A” Emma Stone was going to be able to handle better roles and this is proof she has a lot of what it takes to be more than just a pretty face.  Not that the others in the cast weren’t amazing too. The movie is certainly one that will make you feel a certain rage at the inequalities the past. There is a lot to take in whenever you watch anything about the turbulent 1960s.  We certainly shouldn’t whitewash history to make it more palatable or today’s audiences.

Let's just put a nice red "A" on this dress for old time sake.
            So would I recommend this movie? Yes, in a heartbeat. It’s a really great bit of drama. The cast is really strong. The plot is smart and well told.  I think as a whole they found a clever way to portray a Civil-Rights era mood.  I’d also like to add that as this director’s film director Tate Taylor’s film debut.  Well done!


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