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Reviews & Ratings for
The Help More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Help is the movie of the year...!!!!

10/10
Author: anudeepraju from India
28 December 2011

In 2008,I had a chance to watch a movie that stood on it's strong performances and an excellent adaptation from a Tony Award winning play...........I'm talking of the movie 'Doubt'.The movie had nearly the entire cast nominated for the Oscars that year.One performer was Voila Davis,who had strongly caught my attention for her class performance.She had a screen space of hardly a couple of minutes .....but she exploited those moments completely to show us an authentic portrayal of a concerned mother. This year in The Help,she again manages to move us with her acting potentials.She does the role of a black maid who raises white children.The movie is set against the backdrop of racism, wherein the maids (all colored women) from Jackson come forward to give in their experiences in the houses of the whites where they are employed.And each ones experiences comes together to take in the shape of a book by Anonymous, thanks to Skeeter(Emma Stone.... another notable character in the movie),which turns out to be popular but also a threat to some of the white women who have to face the consequences of their mindset(one hilarious moment being when Mrs.Hilly eats the pie made by Minny........an incredible revenge I say)...oh yeah .........Minny....Octavia Spencer,I should mention has done an outstanding work....one class apart performance......and even Jessica Chastain manages to grab your attention as a dumb white mistress(Ms.Celia Foote) to Minny but she is extremely good at heart(which I believe is more important to call yourself a human being). Viola Davis as Aibileen is not only just impressive but is the real show stealer.The performances of the women are so brilliant that the viewer tends to overlook everything else about the film. But what makes the performances so strong is beautiful adaptation of the screenplay and a good job from the director ........Tate Taylor.....he surely does deserve kudos.What I loved about his work was that he could purely read my mind....I gave it a thought .......is the movie about racism?.......NO..........it is only about the maids who are doing an incredible favor to their mistress.......raising their children.........and in return these women get treated like shits.I adore the way he made this point clear across the film. The movie on a whole has been brilliant.....after a long time I got to see a movie that made me laugh,cry,thrill.......and most importantly made me feel humbled...It is surely one of the best movies of the year!!!!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Help Yourself to a Great Story

10/10
Author: thesar-2 from United States
27 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Even though the movie The Help is a work of fiction, here's a true story: I offended someone today when I proclaimed at work: "I finally saw the first 5-star movie of 2011: 'The Help'!"

Of course, with a touchy subject such as this, it's a 50/50 chance you'll offend with someone with this movie and subject-matter. Granted, I thought I would be in good graces since the person I upset was black and I only briefly mentioned it where she could overhear it.

Apparently, her beef was mainly for the fact that the prejudice portrayed still runs true today – don't I know that! Anyways, like I always say about most work places: "Why even install carpet in the office, when the floor is covered with eggshells?"

This movie was moving, brilliant, wonderfully written, emotional, well-acted and stirs up enough emotions to make us all think twice on how we treat each other. I know I stood back and was actually ashamed of being white during this viewing.

Rebel Skeeter (the always wonderful Emma Stone) is wanting to write a book against her (ENORMOUSLY) racist bridge-playing peers and in the POV of "the help," i.e. black maids when "the deep south" still treated non-whites as inhumanly as possible. It's not easy for a VERY hard working servant to give their story, but with great courage it happens. And then it happens…it hits the fan.

Loved this movie. The performances all around, whether you love the individual or HATE HATE HATE the character, were pitch-perfect. The dialogue had be both rolling and angry (in a good way) at the same time. And the pacing, despite the more-than-2-hours running time was completely well used.

I also love the fact that it was…fiction. Some people are claiming this as heavy-handed. Bah. This was a perfect summarization of the travesty that happened back in the 1950s/1960s and like my fellow peer realizes, still today. SEE THIS MOVIE…and then look at ourselves.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

quiet tome

8/10
Author: toast-15 from United States
2 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wish I could say that all racism is in the past but I think we all know that is not true. However, we can appreciate a film that brings this particular injustice to the forefront. This movie brings everyone to the table in that respect. Many would rather not be there and many more will simply not see this film but perhaps however slowly, we may all eventually come to recognize racism when we see it. Maybe someday we can rise above the amount of melanin in a person's skin, but coming in a year when our (first black) President was forced to prove he is a citizen of the United States by showing his birth certificate in a press conference for the first time ever (even though 3 years prior he had already shown the legal form for his state), and coming in a year when the debt ceiling was held hostage for the first time ever, and coming in a year when the Speaker of the House for the first time ever, publicly rebuffed a sitting president's date request to give a speech to both the House and Senate, it is clear that day is not today.

This film is not perfect but it is necessary even so many years after the civil rights act became law. I can't think of a sadder statement.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

This best-selling novel adaptation is a light, silly, poo based Hollywood drama.

5/10
Author: tombrookes2007 (tombrookes2007@hotmail.co.uk) from Warwick, England (UK)
9 January 2012

I was disappointed by this light Movie version of a great book, which it is not 100% true to. The light, fluffy, glossy look and woeful acting (from a good female ensemble cast) strips away the suffering and hardship reducing the feeling for the characters (which should be it's focus). Instead of staying truly serious to the subject matter this is flipped into an ugly light-hearted entertainment journey (trying to create the Helps versus the nasty white housewives).

The film was interesting but limited, with most of the second half giggling and obsessed with a 'poo pie' and failed to show the 'Help's' as anything other than minimally reluctant nannies (not slaves).

I would wash away my small memories of this film, in a way that would sum up this forgettable, washy, disappointment of a film. I think too much fun was had, and ultimately was the focus, of a Mississippi history lesson that never took off. 'To Kill A Mocking bird' this most definitely isn't!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

sorry to break it to everyone

3/10
Author: jack-c-abraham from United Kingdom
2 July 2012

I watched this film without any presumptions as to what it would show me. And have no prior knowledge of the text. So after watching The Help i thought i'd go and do some research, naturally the first thing that pops up is IMDb and i am genuinely shocked that everyone is so gushing about what to me was at times mere dross and at others actually insulting. But mostly quite sad.

If i was to rent starship troopers then it would be fair for me to assume that depth, pathos and any kind of layered motivation wouldn't be on the menu. yet when you watch a film set at one of the most volatile and important eras of the last 500 years and it basically is a Rom-com by numbers except black people are the shy guy who gets the hot girl in the end and the 'mean-girl-who-doesn't-get-her-way' is the symbol of indolent white middle-class racist. I expected better, clearly i'm looking in the Wong place and i apologise i will stick to books in the future. "i loves me some fried chicken" - "you can have a job here for life" oh really thanks.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Same old clichés, same old stereotypes, same old story ... its been done before (over and over)

Author: johnsmow84 from London, England
28 October 2011

Films like this really make me despair. The contrast between black people and white people's reaction to these kind of films confirms that despite the veneer of living in a post racial world, we merely coexist, are not really integrated in any meaningful way underneath that comforting false veneer. Generally, speaking, overwhelmingly, white people have called this film (and the book its derived from), one of the best things they've read/watched, very funny and entertaining, a must watch film, whilst black people in general have found it "hard to watch", a rehash of old themes and stereotypes, and even humiliating/insulting.

Regarding the themes and the content of the film itself, its all been done before (over and over again) ... nothing new here. A movie purportedly about racism afflicting an oppressed community, but actually about the experience of the affluent white person defending that community. "Cry Freedom." "Mississippi Burning.", the list goes on ... The fact that films like 'The Blind Side' (and now possibly this), receive such wide acclaim and become box office hits (despite the protestation of minorities who feel infantalised by the film), tells an uncomfortable dynamic of existing race and power in our so called post racial world.

This film is nothing more than a self congratulatory, self aggrandizing, condescending and patronising attempt at yet another make over of the great white hope theme. Having said that, I have no doubt that this film will at the very least be nominated for an Oscar, and very likely actually win one - after all, we DO like to see ourselves portrayed on screen as the great saviour, or the great WHITE hope - don't we?.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

This Should Receive Oscar Nominations, And It Deserves Them

9/10
Author: Troye Dchgl from Hong Kong
12 December 2011

Watching "The Help" is like living the days of black women back in the days and witnessing the struggle and hardship in almost every aspect of their lives. This is easily one of the best of the year, or at least one of the most touching movies of the year for me.

I should have seen this back in the summer but I ended up with other choices. 2011 has been a good year for movies, especially with a number of blockbusters that are not at all bad (No, I am not talking about Transformers and Green Lantern). Although, there may be some competition at the Academy Awards this year, I still believe that "The Help" will get away with some wins which it deserves.

To start with, it is the stunning performances.

Emma Stone, taking the leading role of Skeeter, has shown the audience that her acting can be much more than "Easy A". It is a big step forward and she has definitely given a Oscar-worthy performance. Indeed, she is also essential for the story development because it is basically her concern and passion that drive the later events and keep the surprises coming.

Viola Davis from "Doubt" is also one of the protagonists. Playing one of the black maids named Aibileen, she portrays the emotions of fear and hope. From a passive character to an active help to Stone (Skeeter), her performance is incredible and totally realistic. And of course, having been a Oscar nominee once, this time her even better performance absolutely deserves recognition from the Academy once again.

Then we have Octavia Spencer who has the role of Minny, also a maid. The performance is again Oscar-worthy. Her "tougher" appearance and personality are what make her stand out and have a different attitude. But indeed, the bottom line is Minny and Aibileen are united by an opportunity to change, to let their voices be heard.

Last but not least, we have Howard. I would be surprised if she is not nominated at Oscars this year, after her amazing performances in "The Tree of Life", this, and "Take Shelter". As a housewife who has Octavia (Minny) as her maid, her character is the "boss" of the housewives. The scenes when she bursts into rage are superb.

Other performances are also good in "The Help", but I guess the above four are the ones that I find outstanding. If the Academy recognizes this film, I believe there is a high chance that at least two nominations of Supporting Actress will be from this, and it will be hard to pick one for sure.

"Change begins with a whisper". That is the kind of story "The Help" wants to tell. As the movie approaches the end, there is a great number of touching scenes that can make you cry. And throughout the movie, there are scenes that can make you laugh, hard.

"The Living Proof", as a soundtrack played at the end of the movie when the closing credits roll in, is an extraordinary song. It is beautiful music, and its lyrics and meanings fit the theme of the movie perfectly. There are also other great songs played, also near the finish of the movie. Again, "The Help" should also be a great competitor in the category of Best Original Song at Oscars.

"The Help" is a combination of astonishing performances by a number of great actresses and a well-written story which I guess most viewers and the Academy will like.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Best Film or what?

10/10
Author: Reyna_30 from United Kingdom
4 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Words cannot express how excited and anxious I was while watching this film. With mysteries lurking in ever corner, the audience just didn't know what to expect, except the unexpected! Emma Stone's role was played extremely well; the writer who's trying to do her research by interviewing the black servants in America during the 70's. Octavia Spencer, who played the role of "Minny Jackson" did a smashing job of serving a plate of well… do I really have to say? Anyway, the antagonist, Jessica Chastain who played Celia Foote was most definitely asking for it! In fact, everyone who were following the path of Apartheid were! I must say, I normally read the books before the films but 'The Help' seemed to funny judging by the trailer to postpone watching it! Fantastic, filled with fun and enigmatic encounters, this is a definite must watch! Everyone will definitely enjoy it, without a doubt!!! Watch the film and make up your own mind!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What a great film 'The help' was...

8/10
Author: Chundria Stanback (chundriastanback@gmail.com) from United States
2 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw "The Help" at the movies with a group of female friends. The character development in this film is really a great match for the story line. I have a list of my favorite characters which you likely agree that they are all an enterprising bunch. The storyline is in a remarkable setting brought to life from a time of racism. I love that the movie presents the perspective of a number of the characters instead of just being from the perspective of just one character. It definitely has some hilarious moments and even some tear-jerking moments. Its definitely not just a film for women or women of a particular race. It's a film that all can enjoy. They couldn't have picked a better cast to play these characters. They really sold the story line to the viewers leaving us wanting to know more as it was served. It's a fan favorite movie that I can definitely watch again and again.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This was an incredibly moving film

9/10
Author: TheMovieSnob247 from Toronto, Canada
19 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Three very courageous women decide to tell the unique story of what it's like to be a black female helper taking care of white children set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and the rampant bigotry of the time. I thought this film was very moving throughout; a particular scene that comes to mind is when a helper is betrayed after a life long service to a family. It's the most powerful scene I saw in a film in 2011 and my heart just sunk as I watched it.

The performances are solid right across the board. Bryce Dallas Howard is serviceable and Emma Stone shows she can do more than comedy. But this film belongs to the performances of the two helpers; Viola Davis and Octavia Spenser. Viola is clearly a fantastic actress. I liked what she did in Solaris (thought she was underrated), LOVED her brief but very strong role in Doubt and this performance just puts her in the next level of actresses for me. The suffering and heartbreak of this character just emanates from her; her performance makes this film great.

Octavia Spencer (Minny) was a newcomer for me at the time I first saw this and I thought she provided some of the more light hearted parts of the story (which it definitely need). I initially didn't know what to think of this film and was surprised at the buzz it was getting. I expected it to be a bit cheesy. But after seeing it I definitely get it. Like the Blind Side, I think it's really resonating with people. It's clearly not the feel good movie of the year, but it's highly recommended.

Enjoyed my review? Keep in touch!

Blog: www.themoviesnob.ca

Twitter: @the_movie_snob

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