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Wow! I thought this was just another family or personal race based drama the likest of George Wallace. Boy was I in for a surprise. This film grips you all the way from the start with great acting by brilliantly cast actresses that are sure to surprise you with their performance. A blend of down-to-earth super realistic scenes and funny to hilarious ones, daily and social situational and emotionally engaging, strike that, moving! moments that are as good as they are motivational and inspirational. This is no chic flick, This is a well rounded drama that will restore your faith in the good in people and make you want to be a better human being-to your fellow man.
...and work to make the movie non-existent. That is the degree of
justice it does to the book and not speaking about the minor changes
the film has done in the plot. But that's not the point and if I had to
rate this idiosyncratically, it is a good film.
The cast is outstanding... I mean this could just be the film with the cast who are totally into their respective characters of the book. I loved Bryce Dallas Howard & Octavia Specner, but who really stood out with her portrayal is Jessica Chasatin (I have watched Mama & ZD30, but this is just too impressive of her). Fantastic! And the music is great, too. What troubled me is the screenplay and when it skipped elements like it had a time constraint it felt bad. But I understand how the editor might have had terrible nights editing it into reason. The costumes are fine and my appreciation to the art crew.
Tate Tylor had no reason to adapt the sensational book, but since it has been I'd give it a one-time watch. And the minor changes I mentioned before actually work for the movie. And let me take this opportunity to ask all the people to read the book so that you LOL & produce ire at the same time about the much-discussed topic. It is one of the most enjoyable books I've read.
BOTTOM LINE: It was real treat to watch the words of the book go real on reel and I am happy the cast was able. Recommended for people who haven't read the book. For others, read it first and skip the film.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
profanity/Vulgarity: Mild | Sex/Nudity/Foreplay: No | Mouth-Kiss: Mild | Violence/Gore: No | Smoking/Alcohol: Strong
The Help is a film about Black maids in a small Mississippi town set in
the early 1960s. You gather that as the news covers the funeral of JFK
at one point.
The film is set on the eve of the civil rights era then but such things move slowly in the Southern states and here we have black women who practically raise the white kids from infants onwards and as they grow up they become like their parents including the prejudice and the cycle starts again as the maid raise their kids.
Even though the discriminatory behaviour has been toned down for the film, part of it still feels very uneasy although in reality things were probably a lot worse for real life maids.
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer stand out from the cast as two of the maids. Also good performances from Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone.
It may not be as powerful as you think it would be. Given that it seems to be aimed at a female audience you get the feeling the director did not want to cross a certain line and make it more hard hitting.
Its funny as well as emotional and an interesting tale.
In order for a movie to be good, there has to be some good acting. I'm
glad to say that this film, The Help has exceptional acting and that is
why it's such a great movie. At first, I was skeptical of seeing this
but after the great word-of-mouth this film has been spreading, I
thought it was time for me to check it out. As a movie that deals with
racism, it's dialed down a notch but it's still powerful nonetheless.
This film is about a 23-year-old, white Mississippi girl who wanted to change the lives of black people for the better. She decides to interview some maids, Abileen and Minny so she can tell the world their lives from their points of view.
The acting is just beyond belief. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer led this movie with their powerful performances as the slaves. Jessica Chastain is certainly making a name for herself. I can say the same for Emma Stone as well. I also loved the evilness by Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly because I just loathed the character in the movie.
Overall, this is a great, powerful film that will have you cheering at some moments and in tears in other moments. I won't give anything away, but I loved that one scene that involved a funny confrontation between Hilly and Minny. I think that also made this movie great because of some unexpected humor. I rate this film 9/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I guess it came at no surprise that "The Help" was going to garner some
awards during Oscar time. But the big winners went to those who brought
their tickets to see this brilliant movie. The riveting performances by
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will make your melt faster than a
snowball in a microwave with their scintillating performances. I was a
bit disappointed with the DVD because there was a lackluster of bonus
material. In addition to that over four minutes of scenes were deleted.
All we get is a five minute music video, which makes me cringe because
I felt cheated when I purchased the DVD. If that's the case then I
advise everyone who missed the movie I'd say skip the DVD and watch the
movie on your local movie stations. It's still a quintessential movie
that's rich in story and detail and something you shouldn't miss.
I had the honour to see the opening matinée last year and I saw it a few more times after that. It really is that special. It's doubtful if there is any accuracy behind this movie based on the epicenter era of the civil rights movement came into fruition. The script compliments Kathryn Stockett's best selling novel and if you liked the movie, you will absolutely enjoy. The story of three dynamic women in Mississippi is likely to keep readers and viewers intrigued. The central plot of writing a book that exploits the dark truth about the racial intentions in the city of Jackson upper class Caucasian's and their subservient black helpers by keeping it low-profile so that retribution does not come towards them.
The humor was customized in the way the upper-class socialites from Jackson behaved and their initial reaction once this novel has been published. Bryce Dallas Howard was the perfect choice for the leading antagonist Hilly. Sure she was not sore on the eyes, Hilly was still the definitive character you just purely love to despise. Jessica Chastain was amazing in her scene stealing performance as Celia as she successfully tries to keep it real. Viola Davis was drop-dead gorgeous and shapely figured as Aibileen even though from the book I was given the impression of her being frumpy and out of shape, but I'm not complaining. Octavia Spencer was right on the Minny...I mean money as she just nails her role and the interviews she gives is very captivating. The hidden secrets behind Skeeter's (Emma Stone) childhood maid was a more integral part of the the plot from the novel. The casting was really sublime and it was great to see small roles from veteran performers like Sissy Spacek, Cecily Tyson and Mary Steenburgen.
From reading the book to watching the movie there is one thing a did on both occasions. I rooted for this dynamic triad an hoped that they all have a happy ending and overcoming all obstacles that get in their way. The movie and the performances look and feel so believable you never ponder for a minute that it is a work of fiction But for those who want 100% accuracy, i suggest you watch a documentary of the South during the Civil Rights Movements or to spend time and speak to someone who lived in that era.
If you're looking for that one movie that will truly move you, then "The Help" should really fit that bill. This film is as equally intriguing with a script that's equally as poignant as the book and the performers played out their respected roles subliminally. it doesn't matter if you read the book or seen the movie first on both accounts you are in for a real treat.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a person who'd just finished reading the book on which "The Help" is
based and who'd just watched the film, I'd like to say a few things
about the differences between the book and the film and how that
reflected on the story.
The film represents a much shorter version of the story than the book. The major differences, and the ones that I thought were NOT beneficial for the story, are as follows.
- Constantine's daughter is black, not white, like in the book, and all her background story is missing. This is not OK, because Skeeter's mum's reaction to her sudden appearance in the house in this case is hardly clear.
- Skeeter's mum tells Hilly off when she comes to her house, something that she didn't do in the book since she didn't even know about the book. The character of Skeeter's Mum, like it's done in the book, would have never understood the her daughter's book and would have never been proud of her daughter the way she is in the film.
- Also in the book Skeeter decides not to write about her mother had done. In the film she does.
- It's not also really clear that Skeeter's mum has cancer and that she's really ill.
- Aibeleen doesn't get a job in the magazine, like she does in the book, which I think is a shame because it represents new beginnings for her in the book. In the film she is basically left with nothing.
- Then there is Minny and Miss Celia. Minny actually saves her life when she calls a doctor when Celia has a miscarriage. In the film Mr. Johnny just says, "She got better after Minny appeared in the house", which in my opinion is sort of strange and doesn't explain at all why he says that she had saved her life and why he is so grateful to her and offers her the job for the rest of her life. It is therefore very unconvincing in the movie, when he does that.
- Incidentally, Celia in the book also never ever learned how to cook.
- Also, the whole ominous atmosphere in Celia's house, the air of mystery is absent from the film, which is a shame, as well as her frequent miscarriages (only one is shown and very briefly, without showing Minny's involvement, which is crucial) as well as Minny's constant fear of Johnny.
- It is also not shown that Minny is actually really scared to lose her job when the book comes out.
- Now, to Aibeeleen's son. In the movie he's "killed". By whom? For what? We don't know. In this case I think it would have been better to leave it the way it was in the book that his death was an accident. I can see what the film creators were trying to do, but it didn't quite work.
- Also, in the church when they congratulate Aibeleen on what she has done, they don't even lock the door a small detail that would have shown, how much they are all still scared, which, I think, is important.
- What I find is also quite important to the story and something that was hardly if at all shown in the film is Skeeter's social isolation after her fall-out with Hilly. That's the cost she paid for disagreeing with everyone else in town and for trying to do something about it.
- Also, how Skeeter's mother constantly criticized her is not shown, which would have added comic value to the film but also explained why Skeeter was so attached to Constantine.
- The story with Elisabeth, how she'd never really liked her child Mae Mobley and never treated her well is also omitted from the film. It would have been much more painful to watch Aibeleeen leave the family if we knew what she meant for little Mae Mobley.
What was also different from the book but what I DID like, was the cause of the conflict between Minny and Hilly, which was sort of unclear in the book: Hilly just started telling everyone else that Minny had stolen silver from her for no apparent reason rather than she wanted Minny to work for her. So I find that the thing with the bathrooms in the film actually works better.
What I also liked was the way the characters were cast, especially the character of Hilly, as well as Minny and Aibeeleen.
And the way love affair with Stuart was shown also worked well - it was much shorter than in the book, however the filmmakers managed to grip the essence of their relationship in a few scenes.
All in all, good effort. But the book is even better - more multi- layered and more powerful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The year is 1963, and Skeeter returns from college to find life as
usual among her privileged set. She's the only one in the Junior League
who notices that the black servants must silently endure insults and
degradation at the hands of their oblivious employers. She decides to
write a book about how the help really feel about their jobs and asks
to interview several maids. This is socially risky for Skeeter and
seriously dangerous for the maids.
I loved the book and was glad that the movie is just as good. The cruelty heaped on the help by their snooty bosses is heart-breakingly portrayed. Bryce Dallas Howard was surprisingly good as the nasty queen bee of the Junior League and Emma Stone is refreshing and likable as the brave Skeeter. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer play Aibileen and Minny, two long-time maids who risk everything to contribute to Skeeter's book. They both give outstanding performances.
Life in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963, is recreated in fine detail and the script is witty and honest. Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved, loved, loved Viola Davis as Aibileen. She overpowered the
movie with the sense of her history and background through her sheer
presence on the screen. She'd just be standing there framed in the shot
and you knew what she'd gone through and how she carried the weight of
her regrets and sadness on her back. I can't rave about this
performance enough. She so embodied Aibileen, in a way even more than
what I imagined. Her last moments were stunning, saying goodbye
suddenly to Mae Mobley and the fear of leaving behind what you've
always known and loved. This to follow a dream you might fail at, but
either way your hope and faith says you must take the opportunity in
the name of all you have lost. In her walk down the road to the bus you
know without her saying that taking part in the writing of The Help she
has done all in her power for Mae Mobley's future and because of that
she has the opportunity to pursue her son's destiny to become a writer
herself. Through love and letting go of the hate and disgust she's put
herself on the road to a better future no matter what roadblocks she
faces. Hehe, yeah I got a lot of unspoken messages out of Viola Davis'
Jessica Chastain rocked Celia Foote! Even though a lot of what I loved about the character was slimmed out of the movie I thought Chastain really took every moment to embody Celia. The screenwriter did a solid job keeping enough about the character that her arc didn't feel choppy or all over the place. This gave Chastain a good foundation for the character but I feel like the actress worked well not only as her character but in conjunction with Octavia Spencer as Minny and with the cast as a whole. Her role was a rather physical one in comparison to Viola Davis who had to stand around and emote. Chastain really excelled in this aspect. Balancing seems to be a skill she excels at. Watching the second time I found myself even more moved by her entire story as her relationship with Minny was a powerful as Aibileen's relationship with Mae Mobley.
Sissy Spacek as Missus Walters rocked it! Wow! I could have watched an entire movie with her and Minny in some kind of Odd Couple or Grouchy Women knock off. She added such dimension I believe to both Minny and Hilly. In fact, I think she made the movie version of her character pop in ways the book version washed out. Cicely Tyson as Constantine Jefferson did the same thing for Skeeter except she only had one scene to do it. Talk about a master! From that one scene you got the movie version of Skeeter's motivation and the root of her ability to withstand her family and friends opinions and disapproval. The moving scene where she packs her belongings and touched Skeeter's height markings wow, nothing even need be said how much she loved Skeeter. I hate to write so little when the performances were so powerful but a lot of their accolades are directed to those they supported.
Ahna O'Reilly as Elizabeth Leefolt and Allison Janney as Charlotte Phelan were fine in their respective roles. O'Reilly portrayed Elizabeth as what she was a follower. Janney very subtly worked her role as Skeeter's mother. There were a lot of changes to her story arc and so there were changes to the character. I didn't love these changes but I feel like they were no reflection on the actress.
As for winning any of the Best Ensemble Awards I believe they are totally deserved, even with my criticism for some of the acting. This might seen hypocritical to some I don't think so though. The acting was solid in the movie. There was a lot of different elements to the characters and the plot to balance and if the director seemed to drop the ball at times that wasn't really the actresses fault. I guess what I'm really saying is I think the missteps I perceived were in the acting upon my first viewing were not acting problems so much as direction problems. Perhaps he was too close to the material or the people involved. Perhaps balance is not his forte. As a story lover some of the characters didn't quite jive with their arc on a specific level, but for most I believe it works on the more general one.
The movie was good. It didn't blow my mind like the book though. I would have loved to have seen a little more of the finer details transferred from the written medium to the visual. Still I think everyone ought to at least see the movie if you aren't one for reading. The cast is worth the effort.
To read more about the adaption of the book to the movie: http://yaykisspurr.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/which-skeeter-is-better/
If you have read and enjoyed the novel by K. Stockett, you won't be
disappointed by the movie, on the contrary you will love it, too. The
picture proves definitely up to the novel, that same entertaining and
sensitive touch is evident from the first shots, and it's very easy to
be drawn into the story and the characters.
Certainly, "The help", both the novel and the movie, does not have the sharp and dramatic edge of "The long walk home", and although truly committed while representing the condition of black maids working for white families during the 60's, some light is shed, in a way that racism and intolerance are to be counterbalanced by the idea that something could really change. Focus in on the womens' relationship, and also the contrast white-black is explored from a female point of view, around the themes of motherhood and the role of women in Southern society, inside a story where the male point of view is almost absent.
The movie is wonderfully acted, once having read the novel, I could not have thought of better interpreters, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone are exactly how I had devised Aibileen, Minnie, and Skeeter in my mind. It is as if the story and the characters I had devised in my mind while reading the book, were visually developing through the picture. Also the characters of Celia, Hilly and Skeeters's mother help compose a great female cast, and make the movie truly enjoyable from beginning till end. In the end, a movie definitely worth watching, in the same way as the book was worth reading.
I knew not much when the movie first came to the cinemas, but after seeing the trailer I was intrigued. I expected something a little less serious, but if the movie was in any way different than it is, it wouldn't be this good. The story is extremely difficult emotionally. It deals with a problem that was an issue not so long ago, and I believe that is what makes it so powerful. People who took care of their children, them, their entire lives were treated, by them, like slaves. No respect, no consideration for their feelings, their problems. I was actually considering leaving the cinema after 40 min because I got so enraged by how those women were treated I could barely stand it. Why was that so? Primarily, the acting. Every character in this movie was played to the point of perfection. Bryce Dallas Howard and Viola Davis were astonishing. One can feel nothing but hate for Hilly, and nothing but sorrow and love for Aibileen. Another staggering performance was the one by Jessica Chastain. I found myself wanting to jump into the movie and just hug that woman's character through and through. Such cuteness I have never seen! The only minor problem is Emma Stone who got a little lost in the sea of these marvelous performances. All of the above named characters simply "ate" her on the screen. One more name worth mentioning is Octavia Spencer. She was my favorite character. Strong and powerful, but also extremely gentle and frightened. As is presented, the movie's leading characters are women. Another thing that deserves an absolute A+ is the contrast of the exterior space and the interior of the people. The hairspray generation, the houses filled with thousand of colors and at the same time such dark and evil personalities. See this movie and take everyone you know to see it. It is powerful, staggering, at times hilarious, and it has a beautiful message. This movie will bring out the best of you, and surely bring out emotions.
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