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The Help
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The Help (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 67 | slideshow) Videos (see all 18)
The Help -- Jackson, Mississippi, 1962: aspiring writer Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Stone) returns home after college, where unexpected friendships with African-American maids Aibeleen Clark (Davis) and Minny Jackson (Spencer) result in a book that gives a previously unheard voice to a community's suffering.
The Help -- A clip from the movie The Help
The Help -- A featurette for The Help
The Help -- The Help: IMDb Original Interview - Bryce Dallas Howard
The Help -- A clip from the movie The Help

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   255,463 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 40% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Tate Taylor (screenplay)
Kathryn Stockett (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Help on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 August 2011 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Change begins with a whisper.
Plot:
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 70 wins & 91 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Minny Don't Burn Chicken See more (406 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Emma Stone ... Skeeter Phelan

Viola Davis ... Aibileen Clark

Bryce Dallas Howard ... Hilly Holbrook

Octavia Spencer ... Minny Jackson

Jessica Chastain ... Celia Foote

Ahna O'Reilly ... Elizabeth Leefolt

Allison Janney ... Charlotte Phelan

Anna Camp ... Jolene French
Eleanor Henry ... Mae Mobley
Emma Henry ... Mae Mobley

Chris Lowell ... Stuart Whitworth

Cicely Tyson ... Constantine Jefferson

Mike Vogel ... Johnny Foote

Sissy Spacek ... Missus Walters

Brian Kerwin ... Robert Phelan

Wes Chatham ... Carlton Phelan

Aunjanue Ellis ... Yule Mae Davis

Ted Welch ... William Holbrook

Shane McRae ... Raleigh Leefolt

Roslyn Ruff ... Pascagoula

Tarra Riggs ... Gretchen

Leslie Jordan ... Mr. Blackly

Mary Steenburgen ... Elain Stein

Tiffany Brouwer ... Rebecca
Carol Lee ... Pearly
Carol Sutton ... Cora
Millicent Bolton ... Callie

Ashley Johnson ... Mary Beth Caldwell

Ritchie Montgomery ... Bus Driver
Don Brock ... White Bus Passenger
Florence 'Flo' Roach ... Maid #1

Nelsan Ellis ... Henry The Waiter

David Oyelowo ... Preacher Green

LaChanze ... Rachel (as La Chanze)

Dana Ivey ... Gracie Higginbotham
Becky Fly ... Woman in Grocery Store
Sheerene Whitfield ... Maid #2
Cleta Elaine Ellington ... Donna The Receptionist (as Cleta E. Ellington)
Henry Carpenter ... Jameso
John Taylor ... Missus Walters' Date
Charles Cooper ... Tire Winner @ Ballroom #1
Diana Cooper ... Tire Winner @ Ballroom #
Coyt Bailey ... Party Guest #3
Wade Cottonfield ... Lead Singer of Band
Kelsey Scot ... Sugar Jackson (as Kelsey Scott)

Amy Beckwith ... Bridge Club
Sloane Fair ... Bridge Club
Anna Jennings ... Bridge Club
Lauren Miller ... Bridge Club
Elizabeth Smith ... Bridge Club
Mary Taylor Killebrew ... Bridge Club
Kathryn Ursy ... Bridge Club
Stephanie Ward ... Bridge Club (as Steffany Ward)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Julie Ann Doan ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Stuart Greenwell ... Barber (uncredited)

Lamar Lott ... Bus Rider (uncredited)

Jordan Sudduth ... Restaurant Gallant (uncredited)

Directed by
Tate Taylor 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Tate Taylor (screenplay)

Kathryn Stockett (novel)

Produced by
Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei .... executive producer (as Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouel)
Michael Barnathan .... producer
Nate Berkus .... executive producer
Jennifer Blum .... executive producer
Chris Columbus .... producer
Brunson Green .... producer
L. Dean Jones Jr. .... executive producer
Sonya Lunsford .... co-producer
John Norris .... executive producer
Mark Radcliffe .... executive producer
Jeff Skoll .... executive producer
Tate Taylor .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Thomas Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Stephen Goldblatt (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Hughes Winborne 
 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Paul Schnee 
 
Production Design by
Mark Ricker 
 
Art Direction by
Curt Beech 
 
Set Decoration by
Rena DeAngelo 
 
Costume Design by
Sharen Davis 
 
Makeup Department
Gloria Belz .... third makeup artist
Melinda Dunn .... additional hair stylist (as Lindy Dunn)
Camille Friend .... hair department head
Vincent Gideon .... hair stylist
Sandy Jo Johnston .... additional makeup artist
Denise Paulson .... key makeup artist (as Denise L. Paulson)
Jami Ross .... additional makeup artist
Roxanne Wightman .... key hair stylist
Brad Wilder .... makeup department head
Linda Williams .... additional makeup artist (as Linda Boykin-Williams)
Coni Andress .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Deborah Ball .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Natasha Ladek .... wig maker (uncredited)
Beka Wilson .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Robert Bella .... post-production supervisor
Mark Graziano .... post-production executive
L. Dean Jones Jr. .... unit production manager
Brian McNulty .... post-production supervisor
Robin Sweet .... unit production manager (as Robin Nelson Sweet)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Karen Davis .... second assistant director
Donald Sparks .... first assistant director (as Donald L. Sparks)
Tessa Lyn Stephenson .... second second assistant director (as Tessa Stephenson)
Devon Parks .... directing intern (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Sheila Bartlett .... standby painter
Rick Bernos .... scenic foreman
Troy Borisy .... leadman
Campbell Brewer .... swing gang (as Charles Campbell Brewer)
Tony Bridgers .... construction foreman
Timothy Burgard .... storyboard artist (as Tim Burgard)
Travis Clark .... warehouse manager
Kenneth R. Cole .... propmaker foreman
Darian Corley .... property assistant
Henry Dando .... greens foreman
Jeno Dellicolli .... on-set dresser
Ken Deubel III .... scenic foreman (as Ken Deubel)
Terry Deubel .... paint foreman (as Terry A. Deubel)
Rachel A. Flores .... assistant property master
Karen Frick .... property assistant
Robert L. Girard .... foreman
Dale Gordon .... foreman
Michael Gowen .... construction buyer (as Michael B. Gowen)
Frank Gray III .... property assistant
Steve A. Hagberg .... construction coordinator (as Steve Hagberg)
Todd Hatfield .... scenic foreman
Adam Henderson .... swing gang
Cindy Ichikawa .... art department coordinator (as Cindy M. Ichikawa)
Katy Jensen .... swing gang (as M. Katy Jensen)
Joie Todd Kerns .... swing gang
Steven Ladish .... leadman
Ellen Lampl .... production illustrator
Bruce Lehay .... swing gang
Matt Lindahl .... swing gang
James Manley .... labor foreman
Sergey Mazurov .... foreman
Josh Moceri .... swing gang (as Joseph Moceri)
David Pirtle .... propmaker
Steven Reddington .... swing gang
Spencer H. Register .... swing gang (as Spencer Register)
Paul Sonski .... set designer
Chris Ubick .... property master
Randy Uhlig .... foreman
Bobby L. Vaughn .... tool foreman (as Bobby Vaughn)
Joe Voda .... foreman
Stephanie Waldron .... greens foreman
Dana White .... set dresser
Melisa Coby .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Chris Grantz .... set dresser (uncredited)
Jerod Johnson .... painter (uncredited)
Peggy Johnson .... paint forman (uncredited)
Thomas V. Johnson .... lead scenic (uncredited)
Arin Ladish .... buyer (uncredited)
Eshom Nelms .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Albert Seiler .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Ian Blackman .... apprentice sound editor
Tyler Blythe .... sound editor (documentary segment)
Willie D. Burton .... production sound mixer
Jenna Dalla Riva .... foley recordist
Dennis Drummond .... supervising sound editor
Kim Drummond .... adr supervisor
Ann Ducommun .... first assistant sound editor
David Giammarco .... sound re-recording mixer
Laura Graham .... adr editor
Jack Heeren .... foley mixer
Scott A. Jennings .... sound effects editor
Kimberly Jimenez .... additional sound services
Goro Koyama .... foley artist
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Scott Millan .... sound re-recording mixer
Adam Mohundro .... sound utility
Stephen Muir .... foley recordist
Chris Navarro .... adr mixer
Will Riley .... supervising foley editor (as William Riley)
Brian Smith .... adr mixer
D. Chris Smith .... sound editor
Gary A. Theard .... boom operator (as Gary Theard)
Drew Webster .... re-recording mix technician
Don White .... foley mixer
Jesse Dodd .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Tracy Duncan .... epk sound mixer (uncredited)
John St. Denis .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Sam Watson .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Chris Allen .... special effects technician
James Cheshire .... special effects technician
Michael Frechette .... special effects technician
Heath Hood .... special effects technician
Michael Dean Kiesling .... special effects technician
Richard Terry Tjelmeland .... special effects supervisor (as Terry Tjelmeland)
Patrick Edward White .... special effects technician (as Patrick White)
Kurt Wunder .... special effects technician
Robert Cole .... special effects (uncredited)
David Fletcher .... special effects coordinator (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Christine Cobb .... visual effects coordinator: Pixel Magic
Hal Cohen .... visual effects project manager: EFilm
Rif Dagher .... cg supervisor: Pixel Magic
Victor DiMichina .... visual effects technical production supervisor: Pixel Magic (as Victor Di Michina)
Patrick Flanagan .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic
Adam Folse .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic
Andrew Francis .... digital colorist: Efilm
Erik Holman .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic
Montu Jariwala .... environment artist
Steven Lloyd .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic (as Steve Lloyd)
John R. McConnell .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic (as John McConnell)
Ray McIntyre Jr. .... visual effects supervisor: Pixel Magic
Stalin Saravanan .... visual effects supervisor: Vensat (as Saravanan Stalin)
Ray Scalice .... visual effects producer: Pixel Magic
Patrick Trahan .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic
Anthony Vingas .... 2d artist: Pixel Magic
Jordan Alphonso .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Daniel Brimer .... visual effects producer: Digital Domain (uncredited)
Patrick Clancey .... digital opticals (uncredited)
Anthony D'Agostino .... digital compositor: Pixel Magic (uncredited)
John Follmer .... visual effects executive producer: VenSat America (uncredited)
Christopher Keith .... visual effects coordinator (uncredited)
Raju .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
David Ridlen .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Diganta Saha .... systems administrator: Prologue (uncredited)
Doug Spilatro .... visual effects (uncredited)
Makana Sylva .... compositor: Pixel Magic (uncredited)
Venkat Karunakar Uday .... visual effects artist: Vensat Tech (uncredited)
Justin van der Lek .... visual effects lead: Digital Domain (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Robin Lynn Bonaccorsi .... stunt double: Hilly (as Robin Bonaccorsi)
Jwaundace Candece .... stunt double: Aibileen
Rocky Capella .... stunt coordinator
Rex Reddick .... stunt cop
Rex Reddick .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Blake Alcantara .... camera loader
Will Arnot .... Steadicam operator
Will Arnot .... camera operator: "a" camera
Khris Bennett .... grip
Erik Bernstein .... rigging gaffer
Hans Bjerno .... aerial director of photography
Peter Budd .... grip
Colin J. Campbell .... chief lighting technician (as Colin Campbell)
Rob Chidester .... grip
Andreas Crawford .... dolly grip (as Andy Crawford)
Howard Fox .... electrician
Drew Frazier .... electrician
Scott Friedland .... rigging best boy grip
Craig Garfield .... grip
Jim Gordon .... grip (as James T. Gordon)
Larry Huston .... first assistant camera
Bill Jackson .... assistant chief lighting technician (as William Jackson)
Chris Johnson .... electrician (as Christopher C. Johnson)
Josh Malloy .... grip
John Oliveri .... second assistant camera
Patrick Redmond .... aerial camera technician: Wescam
Cache Reed .... electrician
Dale Robinette .... still photographer
Charles Saldana .... key grip (as Charles Saldana III)
T. Daniel Scaringi .... key rigging grip (as T. D. Scaringi)
Bryce Shields .... video assist
Sean Smith .... assistant chief lighting technician
Shawn Torge .... electrician
Doug Wall .... best boy grip (as Douglas L. Wall)
Christopher Crowther .... best boy rigging electric (uncredited)
Robert Duke .... grip (uncredited)
Christopher Greenwood .... rigging grip (uncredited)
Gary Johnson .... electrician (uncredited)
Joshua Miller .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Rich Delia .... casting assistant: LA (as Richard Delia)
Allison Estrin .... casting associate
Leslee Feldman .... casting executive
Michael Fredlund .... casting assistant: NY
Ashley Lambert .... adr voice casting
Kim Petrosky .... location casting
Jennifer Presser .... local casting associate
Corey Sorenson .... casting associate (uncredited)
Trey Wilson .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wendy Chuck .... assistant costume designer
Megan Coates .... key set costumer
Jim Alan Cook .... background costumer
Gina Dedomenico .... costume illustrator (as Gina Flanagan)
Alexandra Eagle .... set costumer
Kathleen Farris .... stitcher
Dana Kay Hart .... costume supervisor (as Dana Hart)
Suzie Kipp .... costumer
Marylou Lim .... costumer
Beth Morgan .... assistant costume designer
Amy Patterson .... costumer
Scheris Shephard .... costumer
Jodie Stern .... key costumer: L.A.
Julie Yrjanson .... head cutter
Sona Amroyan .... seamstress (uncredited)
Dorothy Bulac .... cutter/fitter: female (uncredited)
Roger J. Forker .... costumer (uncredited)
Allison Harvey .... costume assistant (uncredited)
Jessica Lee .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Fran Murphy .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Charles Bunnag .... associate colorist
Adam Cole .... post-production coordinator
Michael Dillon .... digital intermediate assistant producer
Ben Estrada .... colorist: dailies, Cinemascan
Juan Flores .... color timing assistant
Bruce Fowler .... account manager assistant
Andrew Francis .... associate colorist
Jermaine R. Gill .... color correction assistant
Shaun Paul Gordon .... post-production coordinator (as Shaun Gordon)
Dominic Haxton .... post-production assistant
Saj Jayasinghe .... lab account manager
Peter Lam .... apprentice editor
Ken Lebre .... dailies producer: Cinemascan
Curtis Lindersmith .... digital intermediate editor
Christopher McDonald .... dailies operator
Heather Mullen .... first assistant editor
Jim Passon .... color timer
Jacqueline Rosado .... digital intermediate producer
Steven J. Scott .... supervising digital colorist
 
Music Department
Bill Bernstein .... music editor
George Budd .... music consultant: Right Music
Rick Cox .... musician: instrumental soloist
George Doering .... music audio coordinator
George Doering .... musician: instrumental soloist
Tori Fillat .... music coordinator
Michael Fisher .... musician: instrumental soloist (as Mike Fisher)
Jennifer Hawks .... music supervisor
Chris Hogenson .... music coordinator (as Christopher Hogenson)
Steve Kujala .... musician: instrumental soloist
Tim Lauber .... assistant music engineer
Ernest Lee .... music digital coordinator
Larry Mah .... digital score recordist
Leslie Morris .... music contractor
Sid Page .... musician: instrumental soloist
J.A.C. Redford .... orchestrator
Julie Sessing .... music clearance
Andrew Silver .... music editor
Armin Steiner .... orchestra recordist
Steve Tavaglione .... musician: instrumental soloist
Thomas Vicari .... music scoring mixer (as Tommy Vicari)
Thomas Vicari .... music scoring recordist (as Tommy Vicari)
Aaron Walk .... assistant music engineer
Michael Zainer .... assistant music editor (as Mike Zainer)
Celeste Chada .... music licensing (uncredited)
Tim Rodier .... music preparation (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Ray Nevin .... local transportation captain
Michael Sean Ryan .... picture car captain
Gary Shephard .... picture cars
Gary Shephard .... transportation captain
Larry Shephard .... transportation coordinator
Marcia Shephard .... dot compliance
Ryan Allen .... driver (uncredited)
Daniel Davis .... transportation captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Charlsey Adkins .... assistant to producers
Monique Allen .... production assistant
Russell Allen .... production coordinator
Coyt Bailey .... pilot
Nancy Banks .... acting coach
Mary Bean .... production assistant
D. Cole Berry .... production assistant (as Cole Berry)
Jenny Bond .... first aid
Ed Borgerding .... representative: ImageNation Abu Dhabi
Adam Bradley .... assistant: Steve Molen
Megan Broderman .... production assistant
Dash Brown .... production assistant
Stefan Brunner .... representative: ImageNation Abu Dhabi
Joseph Neal Buckley .... production assistant
Unjoo Lee Byars .... titles producer (as Unjoo Byars)
Avent Clark .... production assistant
Randall Clark .... production assistant
Marilyn Corwin .... choreographer (as Marilyn Scaringi)
Josh Crump .... production assistant
Kennedy Davey .... assistant to producers
Bryan Davis .... assistant production coordinator
Carmen Rodrigues Davis .... production assistant (as Carmen L. Rodrigues)
Eileen M. Dennis .... first assistant accountant (as Eileen Dennis)
Maria DeVane .... post-production accountant
Elizabeth Devere .... assistant to producers
Jim Economos .... production safety executive
Lee Ann Fleming .... food stylist
Martha Foose .... food stylist
Laura Foote .... stand-in
Joe Fragale .... camera production assistant (as Joseph Fragale)
René González .... projectionist (as Rene Gonzalez)
Amye Gousset .... stand-in
Felisha N. Grice .... key production assistant
David Guilbeau .... craft service
Cate Hardman .... script supervisor
Henry Hobson .... title designer
Wendy Hoffman .... adr loop group (as Wendy Hoffmann)
Sylvester Hoover Jr. .... location liaison
Mary Hoover .... food stylist
Sylvester Hoover .... location liaison
George Inmon .... assistant: Mr. Taylor
Kristen Irving .... director of social action and advocacy: participant media
Ashley Johnson .... set unit assistant
Monie Jones .... stand-in
Ashley Kravitz .... production clearances: Cleared By Ashley
Ashley Lambert .... adr loop group
Stevie Lazo .... production accountant (as Stevie Jean Lazo)
Al LeBrun .... adr voice
Dirk Q. Long .... chef (as Dirk Long)
Stephen Mapel .... location manager
Cory C. Myler .... travel coordinator (as Cory Myler)
Elizabeth Overstreet .... first aid
Viki Parker-Crays .... second accounting assistant
Sara Patterson .... production assistant
Joshua Ravetch .... production resources
MaryNeff Seabergh .... production assistant (as Mary Neff Seabergh)
Les Shanks .... location assistant
Deborah Simmrin .... unit publicist
Blair Skinner .... accounting clerk
Sarah Beth Solop .... stand-in: Ahna O'Reilly (as Sarah Beth Tew)
Corey Sorenson .... acting coach: Mae Mobley
Kelli Stainback .... stand-in
Shelly Strong .... production executive
Jim Swidarski .... payroll accountant
Grace Swoope .... production assistant
Alexis Tippin .... second assistant accountant
Tomkats .... caterer
Jodi Tripi .... stock footage researcher: EFilm
Jim Turner .... production controller
Lisa Van Wye .... first aid
Nadia Venesse .... dialect coach
Lex Williams .... assistant location manager
Kenny Yates .... assistant: Mr. Taylor
Ava DuVernay .... unit publicity (uncredited)
Manija Emran .... end titles designer (uncredited)
Kelly Helstrom .... film production consultant (uncredited)
Kendrick Hudson .... location scout (uncredited)
Hunter Jones .... catering assistant (uncredited)
Steven R. Molen .... head of production (uncredited)
Hilary Momberger .... script timing (uncredited)
J.P. Pettinato .... consultant to co-producer (uncredited)
Shehawnee Prescod .... publicist (uncredited)
Steven Reddington .... stand-in: Mike Vogel (uncredited)
Derek A. Schwebel .... craft service assistant (uncredited)
Tracy Scott .... script supervisor: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Joy Trahan .... craft service (uncredited)
Daniela Tully .... vp of development and production: Imagenation Abu Dhabi (uncredited)
Lex Williams .... location scout (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Bill Crump .... the producers wish to thank
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Runtime:
USA:146 min
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Alberta/British Columbia/Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | France:U | Germany:o.Al. | India:U/A | Ireland:12A | Japan:G | Malaysia:PG-13 | Netherlands:12 | Peru:PT | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:All | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #46717)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Award nominations: Hublot d'Or de la meilleure adaptation (Tate Taylor), Prix du Jeune Public de la Meilleure Adaptation (Tate Taylor) et Coup de Coeur du Hury de la Meilleure Adaptation (Tate Taylor)au Festival de la Page à l'Image, France)See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the beginning of the film when Skeeter drives into town for her interview, it shows her driving down a dirt road. Yet when she pulls into town, her car is sparkling clean.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Aibileen Clark:I was born 1911, Chicksaw County, Piedmont Plantation.
Woman:And did you know as a girl growing up that one day you'd be a maid?
Aibileen Clark:Yes ma'am, I did.
Woman:And you knew that because...
Aibileen Clark:My mama was a maid. My grandmama was a house slave.
Woman:[whispering as she writes down] "house slave..." Did you ever dream of being something else?
Aibileen Clark:[nods yes]
Woman:What does it feel like to raise a white child when your own child's at home being looked after by somebody else?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Living ProofSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Is 'The Help' based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
170 out of 205 people found the following review useful.
Minny Don't Burn Chicken, 13 August 2011
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas

Greetings again from the darkness. The film is based on the controversial best selling novel by Kathryn Stockett. It was controversial because it is the story of Jim Crow-era maids written by a white woman. Yes, the book is actually the fictionalized story of a white woman getting black maids to discuss their lives as maids for white folks. Rather than get into some politically correct dissertation on the book, movie or story, I will only comment on the film itself ... this very entertaining movie that also manages to deliver a timeless message.

Let me first start by saying that this movie is incredibly well acted. It is quite rare to have so many developed characters in one movie. There are some characters we immediately connect with, while others draw our ire each time their face appears. The script and these fine actresses utilize humor to point out the shameful behavior of those who saw themselves as superior. The humor doesn't soften the ignorance or abuse, but it does make the film infinitely more watchable and entertaining. Please know this is not a documentary.

Ms. Stockett's novel has a very loyal following in addition to the naysayers. A two hour film must, of course, take short cuts and trim story lines. Still the key elements are present. Based in Jackson, Mississippi during Governor Ross Barnett's term we see the social shark, Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), in her full glory of ignorance, entitlement and superiority. We see her minions and followers emulating her moves while trying to gain her approval.

The story takes off when Skeeter (Emma Stone) graduates from Ole Miss and returns home and takes a job at the local newspaper. Possessing observation skills and humanity that her lifelong friends can't comprehend, Skeeter desperately wants to tell a story from the perspective of the maids. As expected, the maids are hesitant, but Aibileen (Viola Davis) does relent. The stories begin to flow and soon the robust Minny (Octavia Spencer) joins in. Others soon follow their lead and Skeeter's education goes to an entirely new level.

That's really all of the story I care to discuss. The brilliance of this one is actually in the details ... individual scenes and moments of acting genius by most of the cast. In addition to those mentioned above, Jessica Chastain plays Celia, the "white trash" outcast who so desperately wants to be allowed back into the girls' club. Ms. Chastain was seen a few weeks ago in the fabulous "Tree of Life" in quite a different role ... I would venture to say no actress will have two roles of such variance this year. Also, Allison Janney plays Skeeter's cancer-stricken mother, and Sissy Spacek is Hilly's mother who gets tossed aside before she is ready to go! The great Cicely Tyson makes a brief appearance as Constantine, Skeeter's childhood maid who was done so wrong after 29 years of service. Mary Steenburgen has a couple of scenes as a big NYC book publisher.

As a said, this is pure acting heaven, but I must single out Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Viola is so powerful at the beginning and end of the film, and Ms. Spencer is a force of nature during the middle. This movie is really their story and these two ladies make it fascinating, painful and a joy to behold. They both deserve recognition at Oscar time.

There are so many fantastic details to the film. At times, it is like watching a classic car show ... the late 50's and early 60's models are works of art. The wardrobe, hair and make-up are perfect in setting up the class differentials. The TV and radio segments provide context and timing with the deaths of Medger Evers and JFK. Even the books on Skeeter's shelf make a statement: To Kill a Mockingbird, Huck Finn, Native Son, and Gone With the Wind.

This story takes place 50 years ago and director Tate Taylor does an admirable job of bringing Stockett's novel to the big screen. Mr. Taylor is a longtime friend of Ms. Stockett's and was quite fortunate to get the directing rights. He doesn't disappoint. Sure the story is a bit glossy at times ... it is geared towards the masses. If you are looking for more depth, there are numerous documentaries available on the Civil Rights movement. If you are seeking a very entertaining movie that uses humor to tell a story and send a message, then this one's for you.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (406 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Help (2011)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sissy Spacek Levin_11
Do You Think That Hilly Holbrook Is A Bitch? matoschi
My grandma had a black maid in the 50s in the south Mega-Ennui
Didn't like the way the movie portray Hilly's fate Jessica000
Great movie, but... peaceablefruit206
The crack on the table? julianfluffersons
See more »

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