Coming Soon

August 10, 2011

The Help

The Help is the story of a young female journalist in Mississippi in the 60s who decides to write a book about stories told by "the help," mainly the black maids and caregivers of white families. This, of course, is an emotional and strong subject which is felt greatly in this film. But The Help has some amazing acting, great writing, and an overall perfect portrayal of the struggles faced by many during this time period.

This movie was serious and emotional, but it was also hilarious!!! I have not been to many movies where an entire audience bursts into laughter multiple times during one film. The "sassy" oneliners from a couple of prominent characters and the karma that comes back to bite some asses creates so many funny moments!! This is one of its strongest characteristics. We can only take so much intensity. The break-up of comedy gives this movie a great dynamic.

The acting was excellent! Emma Stone, who plays the young journalist, once again is kind of broadening her repertoire. She portrays this strong-will girl who doesn't quite measure up to the usual beauty queens of the south.  She has the look, the acting ability, and the subtle comedy to support the other great actors in this film. I was really impressed with Octavia Spencer, who plays one of the maids. She had an amazing character written for her, but she could not have acted better! Her character was the source of the majority of the humor and she executed it all perfectly! Throughout the movie I was continually impressed by her performance. The rest of the cast was great. They set the scene and created the characters wonderfully, but I was most impressed with Spencer and Stone.

The biggest pull of a film like this is it gives us a peek into the past. This was such a volatile time in history and has been represented in a variety of medias. But The Help shows a more personal perspective. It puts you in the homes and lives of people living during this time and people trying to challenge the current system. Emma Stone's character's mother at one point says,  "Courage sometimes skips a generation." This referred to her feelings about her daughter trying to challenge these negatives systems in society when she was unable to. I just wondered how many parents at this time felt the same way. The idea that my great-grandparents or others living during this time could have thought that way makes the depth of the film intensify.

Overall, this was a moving, emotional, and funny movie. It shows a great picture of the struggles of inequality during the 1960s, but it's not just about a societal issue or history. It is so much more than that. Plus it was really fun to watch. You feel connected to the characters, because you watch their emotion and struggles play out. The majority of the audience tonight was women and older couples. I think it will resonate most with this audience most, but I would recommend this film to everyone!