Friday, August 12, 2011

Movie Review - The Help

The Help

Starring: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Chastain, Ahna o'Reilly, Allison Janney, and more.

Directed by: Tate Taylor Screenplay by: Tate Taylor Based on the Novel by: Kathryn Stockett Original Music by: Thomas Newman

Premise:  A young woman, who's come back home from college, notices how the colored maids are being treated and decides she'd like to do a book from their point of view -- one where people can see what it's like to be them, how they feel, how they see life, how they do their work and raise other people's children in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.

Review:  This was a beautiful movie with many levels.  It isn't just a film showing the travails of colored women, but women in all walks of life during the 1960's.

The chains were worn by not only by the maids but also by the white women who hired them. It's a movie about expectations.  Expectations for Negroes, for women (white and colored), from the different levels of society and their peers. 

The story unfolds slowly, like anything worth doing in the south. It's a testament of courage and trust and moving past what they've been taught all their lives, even as we see pieces of history happening in the background to ground the events in history. (One interesting thing was all the info on Medgar Evers - I'd not heard of him before this point but reading about him after was very interesting. A definite fighter for civil rights.)

It's quite possible Academy Awards will be won from the great work done in the film. Viola Davis has my vote, as well as Octavia Spencer. Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard as well. If Sissy Spacek does not win the Best Supporting Actress award, it'd be a darn shame.

The film is full of poignant and humorous moments. The building of several secrets and their revelations. What I liked most was that these ladies did what they did despite the very real danger they were in. A danger that is subtly shown and you can feel the fear and uncertainty as matters move along.

This would be an excellent film to show younger generations to give them a taste of a way of life they know nothing about. Very well worth it. And if you're like me, make sure to take a hanky. You'll need it by the end.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

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