Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Help!!!

The Help is based off the novel written by Kathryn Stockett and is directed by Tate Taylor and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film focuses on a young girl, Skeeter, portrayed by Stone, who returns from college in hopes to be a writer. When she returns home she discovers that her maid, who practically raised her, is no longer home. Enraged, confused and determined, she is inspired to write a book from the point of view of the African-American maids during the 1960’s civil rights movement.

The Help is a powerful film rich with talent. The acting in this film is beyond exceptional. Viola Davis portrays Aibileen, a maid to a white woman who cares deeply for the woman’s daughter. She deals with the constant struggles of working for people who don’t care about her and treat her horribly. Her performance is outstanding, she mirrors a striving woman, who has lost everything she had and hopes to fight back with Skeeter’s book. Octavia Spencer portrays Minny, another maid who has it the worst. She works for Hilly, portrayed by Howard, and Hilly treats Minny disgustingly.  Hilly won’t even allow Minny to use the bathroom, she is constantly abusing her with her words and when she finally fires Minny, she actually does her a favor. Not to spoil the film, but Hilly gets what she deserves. Spencer’s portrayal of Minny is great; she’s feisty, strong and empowering. Howard’s portrayal of Hilly will make everyone in the audience loathe her. She is terrific as the spoiled white woman who is ungrateful, malicious and impossible to watch at times due to the fact that she is so hateful on so many levels. Stone delivered a fine performance as well, as her portrayal of Skeeter. Skeeter was the only one to move away to college and earn a degree rather than getting married and having children like all of her friends. Skeeter struggles with the bond she develops with the maids and her teetering friendships with her high society friends. Stone does a great job juggling the character when she is with her friends and when she is with ‘the help.’  The audience is always left rooting for Skeeter, and Stone is the reason for that.

The Help was an amazing film, deep with elements that America is probably still facing today. To think that the civil rights movement was just fifty years ago, is frightening. To think that the world was actually like that is frightening. The Help is an influential film that represents how far, we as a society, have come. It’s an emotional film that will make everyone in the audience feel everything that Kathryn Stockett hoped to convey.

The Help is highy recommended to anyone who enjoys a film packed with power, strength, heart and the hope that people can change and sometimes all anyone needs is one person to take a stand, and fight for what is right.

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