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Reviews & Ratings for
The Help More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not what I expected.

9/10
Author: xJags from USA
7 September 2011

The Help is set in the 1960's where colored people had little to no rights and mainly focuses on the colored maids working for the "white" people.I didn't really want to see the movie but it got great reviews so I decided to check it out. I must say this movie was quite touching and very well done.

The cast is excellent with award worthy performances from Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer - the main cast. The acting was amazing and there was great chemistry among the respectful classes of people in the film ( the whites and the blacks).

The script was well written and I love the balance of comedy and drama. There are some intense scenes however the comedy makes the movie more enjoyable rather than just a movie to make you feel sad all the way through. There was a perfects balance there and I loved that. The film also took you on a roller-coaster of emotions. Sometimes you were sad, extremely happy, angry or laughing. Its also one of those movies that can hold your interest from beginning to end.

With great performances, a brilliant script and a film so touching and inspiring, The Help is definitely a must-see!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant

Author: Casablanca3784 from 15th Row Orchestra
25 August 2011

Let's see now, who will be nominated for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress of 2011, Viola Davis or Octavia Spencer? Bet your bippy that either one or both are going home with a statue. This is one heck of an excellent film because it SHOULD awaken Caucasians to how we humiliated African-Americans for so long. The film is so gripping, it hurts. I myself saw in Washington, DC buses marked "Whites Only." I saw segregated rest rooms, water fountains..you name it. And of course things were even worse for blacks in Mississippi where the movie takes place. How strange.Black maids were good enough to make meals, serve meals and tend to white children but not good enough to be equal in every aspect with whites. How vividly I remember Mississippi racist governor Ross Barnett finally challenged and beaten by Jack and Robert Kennedy. Our President and Attorney General got sick and tired of all the murder and mayhem Barnett knew about yet always had alibis and excuses. Indeed, the racist was taken down and OUT, thank God. "The Help" is a vivid look into those rotten years and why intelligent evolution began to take place. Kudos to the entire cast of this very excellent film.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I've been going regularly to the cinema since 1966...

10/10
Author: maggiejones999 from United Kingdom
30 October 2011

...this is one of the best films I've ever seen.

I've been told I haven't written enough so my review won't be shown. For goodness sake. I find reading long reviews tedious and boring. This is a great film, worthy of Oscars for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (so many to choose from in this film).

I have to write ten lines of text for the review to be taken seriously. I'd like to know why? It's a great film go and see it! It's a great film go and see it! It's a great film go and see it! It's a great film go and see it! If I fill the review up with junk words 'they' will delete my account. Do you know what, I don't care. IMDb is obviously a pompous lot and need to review themselves. It's still not long enough for a review apparently so I'll keep up the twaddle in the sure knowledge my account will be deleted. Hooray, I'll stick to twitter.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

My Opinion On The Help

Author: (ariyanna@gmail.com) from Netherlands
29 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Help is the most amazing movie I have ever seen. It touched my heart so much, it just made me see things in such a different way. I dried out my tears watching this movie, complements to the writer/s of this movie and all the actors/actresses. Once again most amazing, touching, creative and honest movie ever. I will never forget this movie, it will always stay with me! The storyline is just so amazing, and you will 100% love this movie. I can promise you that! Once you start watching the movie you will not want to stop, I can guarantee you that! A lot of very good actors/actresses play in this movie and that just makes it even better to watch. There are so many different scenes in this story but they all somehow blend together and mix well together, and this is what makes this movie amazing.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not only is it a film with an historical message, it is a film with a mood; hope.

9/10
Author: vicky_jam29 from United Kingdom
27 October 2011

I won't venture in to great detail about the film; I just really felt compelled (after seeing the film half an hour ago) to express my heartfelt thoughts on such a beautiful and touching film. Not only did it bring tears to my eyes (and cheeks, and chin, and blouse!) it made me laugh, made me contemplate and also reflect greatly on the history and thought provoking truth that the film so touchingly, and truthfully depicts. It was beautifully directed, fantastically acted and above all, this films ability to touch the hearts of all those in the theatre really made it a magical experience. Not only is it a film with an historical message, it is a film with a mood; hope. I could go on, but I won't. All I have left to say is please go and watch this incredible film.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Such a great story. Very well done.

10/10
Author: keramgould from United States
30 August 2011

It took me 3 days to read the book and I went out and watched the movie right afterwards, with every detail still fresh in my mind. Of course in a book based film there will be some differences, details that get left out. I was thoroughly pleased with this film and how close it came to the book. The things that were changed or left out are understandable. There are a couple of small things I wished the movie stayed true to: Constantine being a large, tall woman, and of course the way that Stuart left Skeeter. Although, I would have been happy if they left out him leaving all together and had him stay with her :) The cast they chose was incredible. I am a huge Emma Stone fan, but I have to say that Hilly's character was my favorite. That beautiful woman played that horrible part so well. And please let me revert back to a teenager for a moment and say that Chris Lowell is a hottie. Last but not least... I saw interviews saying that Aibileen's character was really going to have to work hard to fill the shoes and believe me, SHE DID, but I have to say that Octavia Spencer was outstanding. Minny stole the show. This is an incredible film and I will watch it over and over.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Help Wanted ( and Needed )

Author: jadepietro from United States
21 August 2011

This film is mildly recommended.

No, I didn't read the book, but I did see The Help. There seems to be a bit of a well-deserved "blacklash" about the whitewashing done in the well-meaning and well-made film adaptation of the popular best seller. And I can honestly agree with the uproar over the many candy- coated scenes of Southern discomfort and stereotypical female role models presented in this earnest film, a film that only hint at the violent and racist times of the sixties during the fight for equality with the Civil Rights movement. Yet, I can still recommend it due, in large part, to the terrific ensemble of actors that bring the right "help" to elevate this mawkish and sentimentalized material.

It's 1964 and everything is literally black and white in Jackson, Mississippi. There is an hidden underbelly of prejudice and hatred in this town that rarely manifests itself, except for the fine production values that capture the tiers of injustice and social division. ( The art direction by Curt Beech and costume design by Sharen Davis work wonders to show this disparity of class struggle.)

All the female characters become walking caricatures of strong-willed Southern belles, which may have been the case back then, but seems to me to be inspired too heavily with the leftover carcasses of other good ole country women's empowerment ilk, feel good films like Steel Magnolias, The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, The Blind Side, and Fried Green Tomatoes that outwear their welcome long before the film ends.

You know, you've seen the types before: the modern thinking progressive heroine, Skeeter, ( Geez, even the name sends shivers! ) well acted by the talented Emma Stone; the prejudiced beauty queen and mean spirited ringleader, Bryce Dallas Howard ( another fine performance ), the pretty and obedient trophy wife (Ahna O'Reilly), the bubble-headed but kind sexpot ( Jessica Chastain ). Even their elders, nicely played by Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek are rich, pampered, and stereotypical products of that era. Them crazy white folks with unique Dixie names like Hilly, Celia, Jolene, and the aforementioned Eugenia "Skeeter"!

Well, it seems that Skeeter wants to write a tell-all book about the black repression and their indignation from the point of view of the black maids, the later day "Mammies" of the Sixties decade. Praise the Lord we've still got the strong caring types in our Merry Maids Southern labor force of black help. Leading the way are stoic, loving, and wise Aibileen and angry, dependable, and comic Minny, coming to the white folks' rescue, a-cooking, a-cleaning, and a-rearing their children and making it right by telling the world their tales of woe.

Seriously speaking, it is a minor miracle that wonderful actresses like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer inhabit these roles. They supply the dignity and power to this underwritten and highly predictable roles. These actresses contribute such strength and nuance to their characters and should earn some justified nominations this award season.

Director / writer Tate Taylor does a commendable if somewhat lackluster job with his film. His film marginalizes the seriousness of its subject matter and is perfectly content to become the mellowest of melodramas with its feel good message of womanhood and liberation overshadowing the Civil Rights movement and the ugliness of discrimination and segregation. With its rather slim but diverting story and its far too obvious plot devices and routine structure, The Help is another example of a promising idea that avoids any complexity or depth, a film more interested in the nostalgic haze of yesterdays than the harsh realities of the black struggle for equality.

The uplifting hopeful ending also seems false and unrealistic. In fact, the whole film seems hopelessly unrealistic to me. It is as if the film's sole purpose is to entertain, simplify, and amuse, and on that level, it efficiently succeeds. But it's the actors who pitch in and rescue The Help from its own limited rose-colored vision. Grade: B-

NOTE: Visit my movie blog for more reviews: www.dearmoviegoer.com

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not Believable

Author: augurar from United States
18 November 2011

I thought that this movie was supposed to be set in the American South in the 1960s. But really it seems to be set in an alternate universe where nothing makes any sense. How is it that the protagonist has grown up in the same society as all the other (racist) women, yet has a completely modern, 21st century viewpoint? Things just don't work that way.

Racism in the movie was portrayed as a pervasive but ultimately trivial issue. The movie reduced racism to the petty meanness of society ladies, largely skirting issues such as sexual harassment and mob violence. We have one scene of police brutality and another scene with a vague reference to a shooting, but these events seem to come out of nowhere and vanish without a trace afterward. What happens to the woman who is arrested, after the arrest? We never find out.

Another thing that bothered me about this movie was how the black women are portrayed as largely feeble and helpless until the white women ("Skeeter" and Celia, in particular) teach them to stand up for themselves. This was partly due to the fact that the movie was, first and foremost, about Eugenia's coming-of-age experience and not about "the help" at all. But still, it was dissatisfying.

In addition to these issues, the characterization was rather poor and the cinematography was nothing special.

I wish I were more well-versed in history, so I really lay into this movie properly. But even as my uninformed self, I could tell that there were many things wrong with this movie. Not recommended.

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5 out of 9 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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14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

The Help

10/10
Author: lynnrosas from United States
12 August 2011

Absolutely the best movie of the last few years. Loved it. Laughed, cried, related, remembered, and remember Martin Luther King's speech I have a dream. This is an awesome movie everyone should see. Racism is disgusting and should never be. This movie was so good and had such a great message I didn't want it to end. I grew up with racist parents and grandparents and I can tell you I could very well have ended up prejudice but I hated it then and I hate it now. We make choices in life if we are going to do right or wrong and we all bleed red. If people can't get along on earth what makes anyone think God wants them in heaven? This was wonderful how they presented what was still going on in the 60s. I saw the racism and hatred with the watts riots, the tension in Long Beach, and the hatred from both sides. This movie was presented so good and had such great aspects to it that it was the one movie in hundreds I have seen that I would even want to give a review on. Acting great, story great, and even if it was just a presentation of what things went on and might not have been about a particular family...this was pretty darn accurate by what I lived through in the 60s. Thanks for the movie. It was a delight to watch and I give it a triple A rating. All families should watch this together and discuss it after because it truly should win every award out there.

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