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The Help. An aspiring author played by pretty Emma Stone 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. Subject is sensitive but treatment is not. In fact most of the time it is balanced, comical take on the racism that makes it an easy watch rather a shocking watch. If we talk about performances, Octavia Spencer treats big time with her delightful portrayal of Minny Jackson for which she was awarded an Oscar. Viola Davis also stands tall with her sincere portrayal of Aibileen Clark. Whole movie is crafted like a girl's movie so there is very less for male actors to show-off here. Movie makes its point but never hits you hard so you may not think much about what you experienced after end credits have gone down. Nevertheless, it's nicely crafted easy watch.
I wasn't expecting too much from 'The Help', 'cause I dislike most of
the Oscars Best Picture nominees from 2011, but I was pleasantly
surprised when I finished to watch The Help. It isn't s film with great
depth, and it really isn't an accurate depiction of a gritty ambient
full of racial tensions; but the story itself has good intentions and
succeeds in developing so many characters that it alone makes it
deserving of my praise. And the acting was very good, I mean, everyone
did a good job. Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas-Howard and in a high level
Viola Davis and Jessica Chainstain. I consider Spencer performance to
be a bit overrated since she wasn't even the best supporting actress on
the film. Davis was great,forced but she showed great range.
I liked the art direction too, very pleasant and eye-candy. And while I disliked the exaggerated vilification of Howard's character, the film showed a somewhat Spielberg-esque style:A drama that never takes itself too seriously. Sometimes it works , and that was the case of The Help. Maybe because the story is very sad and dark after all, so the moments more 'up' are needed to not scare the 'mainstrean' audience. I think if the film had used the real ambient whose the book it was based on was set, the critics would probably love it and admire it's guts and the realism. But since it choose to be a 'lighter' version of the events, it wasn't well received. Well, I personally liked it for what it is. A great mosaic of well developed characters whose connections are the friendship and the racism. A harsh time. Being said, I recommend this film. 7.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start with the actors. The cast in "The Help" is chosen
perfectly. Emma Stone fits excellent as the main character (a white
girl with a strong hart that wants change in the racist society).
Octavia Spencer won an Oscar, a golden globe, a BAFTA and many other
awards for best performance by an actress in a supporting role as Minny
Jackson. Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain are also
actors that were perfectly casted in this movie. I cannot think of
anybody else that could fit their roles better. Kerry Barden and Paul
Schnee did a very good job as casting directors.
During the civil rights movements of the 1960s in Mississippi, the young author, Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) decides to write a book. The book is about the life of an African-American maid that works for white families. She interviews a collard housemaid in secret and writes her point of view of how the white family treats her. While all Skeeters white friends expects her to marry a white man and have kids, she cares more about writing the book that no one of them knows anything about.
It is not a comedy, but there are some scenes in the movie that will make you laugh out loud. The movie shows how the society was in the 60s in a realistic way. Back in the 1950-60s, black people was looked at, as they were worth nothing, they could not even sit were they wanted on the buss.
The reason I didn't like this movie as much as the average, may be because I am not a fan of the genre "drama". The Help was Oscar nominated for best picture in 2011. I will recommend this movie for people that are interested in how the society was at the 60s and if you like drama, this is definitely a movie for you.
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.
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