During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s in America, aspiring author Skeeter Phelan decides to interview the black women who have made a living as the maids of wealthy Southern families in Jackson, Mississippi.
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This was so nice to watch: some very sad moments mixed with others of real joy and hope. Viola Davis was amazing as Aibileen, Octavia Spencer's Minny was funny as hell, Jessica Chastain's Celia was too cute for words, Bryce Dallas Howard's Hilly Holbrook was a total bitch, and Emma Stone's Skeeter became the driving force behind all the events with her own personal story. Not gonna lie, I almost cried with this one!
An acting showcase for the actresses that can act, otherwise it's overlong and meanders a lot. The Help requires you to cry about every 15 minutes. Bryce Dallas Howard and Viola Davis were especially surprising. I'm now in complete faith that Jessica Chastain can do no wrong.
Magnifies the ignorance of the novel to almost dangerous levels. At least it cuts out most of Skeeter and her stupefying entitlement. Fills gaps with more one-note, rigid archetypes of dedicated, dignified maids. Utter waste of acting talent, but at least Davis might get some meaty leads now. Might. Goddamned Hollywood.
This movie had some awesome colors. Lots of super saturated purples and greens. Digital cameras just can't replicate this kind of thing. The story, like the visuals, is idealized--this is a civil rights era in which there are only the black and white oppositions and no areas of grey. So, pretty soap-operatic in execution, but it works really well.
A bit of a wasted opportunity, this film does not know how to build drama or tension at all. All of the "important" parts of the era were name checked and passed over, completely squandered. A few fine performances dot the film but it's not enough to save it. You can listen to my podcast episode on this film at http://ryanestabrooks.com/Podcasts.html
Well acted, but I felt that it was too long... The love subplot was unnecessary and did not add anything to the film. The performances by all the actresses were by far the best thing about the whole film. I feel it is a necessary story to tell, but maybe the film does not offer any solutions, and may even be controversial on its approach.