It’s rare that you see a movie like The Help. The film is based off Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel and takes a look at the lives of African-American maids working for wealthy white females in the deep south.
It’s 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi and the Civil Rights Movement is gaining strength. The wealthy white women of the area are raciest, and the way they treat their maids is down right disturbing. However, one of these wealthy ladies (Eugenia played Emma Stone) is well educated and realizes the unjust behavior. As an aspiring journalist, Eugenia decides to write a rather scandalous book that is a collection of stories from the African-American maid’s point of view.
Eugenia has her own set of challenges. While her friends are getting married and having babies – She can’t seem to find a guy that appreciates her intelligence. And then there is her social circle… where no one seems to realize that they need to take a stand against racism. Instead, they stick fast to their beliefs and support ridiculous initiatives like adding on a separate bathroom to one’s house so that the maids don’t use the same facilities as the families.
However, Eugenia’s trials are nothing compared to the unjust treatment that Aibileen and Minny face being maids for the upper-class white females in Jackson. These remarkably strong women are much easier to admire and respect than the mindless group of females that they work for, but the movie doesn’t wrap up before leaving the viewer with a profound sense of hope for the characters.
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a movie that left me feeling like I just saw something truly incredible. It’s a serious yet touching story that is told through remarkable actresses – specifically Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone. These actresses portray truly remarkable characters that are not only inspiring but also courageous. Bryce Dallas Howard also does a wonderful job at creating a character who you absolutely despise. The acting combined with this empowering script makes for a film that will surely be getting some Oscar nods (Just got some SAG nominations this morning actually). I would suspect that Viola Davis will without question be nominated, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the screenplay also get a nomination.
With the holiday season among us, this is a perfect gift for girls to give their best friends, their mothers, or their sisters. I’m not sure if men will appreciate the ladies in the film as much as we girls will. With strong female characters like Aibileen and Eugenia, it’s the perfect present for the female you admire in your life.
Special features on the DVD release include deleted scenes, The Making Of ‘The Help,’ Mary J. Blige’s music video, and a ‘In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids of Mississippi’ – a special featurette.
Review By: Emma Loggins