The Help (2011)

PG-13   |    |  Drama


The Help (2011) Poster

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

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8.1/10
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  • Sissy Spacek at an event for The Help (2011)
  • Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone in The Help (2011)
  • Schuyler Fisk at an event for The Help (2011)
  • Teresa Palmer at an event for The Help (2011)
  • Josh Hopkins at an event for The Help (2011)
  • Octavia Spencer in The Help (2011)

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17 August 2011 | deborahjwood
Mesmerizing - Pure Oscar Material!
Oscar Oscar Oscar – Kathryn Stockett's beautiful book is Oscar worthy in this film -- for editing, screenplay, supporting actress (several deserving) – Emma Stone just shines – at just 22 years old, this film proves she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. There are so few roles written for black women and I was thrilled to see such great roles filled by Viola Davis (Abigail) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) - both should be nominated for supporting roles although in my opinion, along with Emma Stone, all three share top billing.

The character development in this movie is really outstanding – I hate movies with flat single dimension characters and these from the lowest to those with the most screen time are just remarkably developed – even the newspaper editor, the lines they chose for him to keep gave you enough information that even he is a memorable character with only three scenes, maybe 4 in the entire movie. Same for Stuart, Skeeter's love interest – you actually like him then hate him and he only has maybe 3 minutes of air time. Great great job. Sissy Spacek with so few speaking moments is great as is Cicely Tyson who speaks volumes even in scenes with no words. Admittedly, being based on an amazing book the background story was already set out and tracks the book closely without some of the details but they have done a great job of putting it to film –

This movie sets out beautifully a terrible time in our history that unfortunately is not over – it is better, but not over by a long shot. Being a child of the south and coming up during that time, being raised by such bigoted grandparents and parents, it leaves me pause to wonder how I avoided this rabid virus of hate and takes me back to long hot lazy days in the deep south before every building was air conditioned – such attention detail right down to the Jesus fans they waved in church – awesome flick. You FEEL the heat, the tension, the pain, the injustice of the time but still you laugh with them even as you cry for them - both races - ignorance is to be wept over.

However, I think this movie does more, goes further in its exploration of the behavior of the privileged during that time. They were rabid toward blacks but were not that much better toward anyone who did not share their socio-economic status (the way the "Junior League" treated Celia) and the enormous peer pressure they put on one another (the club encouraging Skeeter's mother to make a poor decision). It visits the sins of the parents passed on to their children – the bigotry and injustice that is learned at the knee of our elders. OMG it is just an awesome, poignant, moving, NOT TO BE MISSED film.

Mesmerizing from start to finish – never once drags – just an easy easy easy 10

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