Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Help

The Help (2011)

Written and directed by Tate Taylor

Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett

Stars: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Alison Janney, Mike Vogel, Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson

I have heard great things about the Tate Taylor's debut film, The Help, since it was released last summer. It was a sleeper hit as some people called it. I know that people were surprised that the black driven movie could make money.

I have this unwritten rule that I usually shy away from the black movies, because these movies reflect on me. I cannot support a movie where people, especially black are the butt of jokes at people's expense. This movie I wanted to see, but I didn't get the chance to see until the movie premiered on Showtime a couple of days ago. Is it as good as people say it is? Yes and then some.

This time is 1963. A spunky journalist who recently graduated from Ole Miss, Skeeter (Roberts) has a hard time adjusting to the crusty society of Jackson, Mississippi. Skeeter's quietly observed the way that her childhood friends treat the maids working for them. Skeeter wants to be a serious writer instead of doing a cleaning advice column. She tries to enlist the help of Aibileen Clark (Davis) and her sassy friend, Minny (Spenser) to write a book about the lives of the help. Tentative at first, they decided to try to make a difference and instill some change for generations to come.

This movie is beautiful beyond words. I could not believe that this white women would treated people like they were a dog. I know that I did not live during that time. My mom, late dad, aunties and uncles lived through that time where everything was separate but equal. Colored people did not have many opportunities in those days. People criticized the movie for the language that they speak. It's not correct English. People need to understand that the black people were not allowed to be educated. Some had to drop out of school to support the family. If this is the kind of movie that gets made, there is something wrong with Hollywood not giving black writers and filmmakers many chances. I was not offended with the movie. It made me proud that a movie like this exists.

I have to talk about the performances. I know that the movie movie was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress and two Supporting Actress nods. I love the cast, but I thought to myself, "Why was Jessica Chastain nominated for this movie?" I felt like it was a bit part like the other ladies. She didn't have that much to do. Octavia Spencer who won the Oscar for role of Minny is likable, but I didn't think it warranted an Oscar. The other performances must have been really weak. I am not knocking on Spencer's talent. I think it was wasn't Oscar worthy in my opinion. I thought Viola Davis really deserved her nomination. She made me laugh and cry at the same thing. I wanted hear to be okay and pulled through.

It is a great example of how a newcomer can make a movie that no one else would make. Thank you, Tate Taylor.

My Rating

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