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The Help (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 August 2011 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Tate Taylor

Writers:

Tate Taylor (screenplay), Kathryn Stockett (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
232 ( 110)
Top Rated Movies #236 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 80 wins & 117 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Eleanor Henry ... Mae Mobley
Emma Henry Emma Henry ... Mae Mobley
Chris Lowell ... Stuart Whitworth
Cicely Tyson ... Constantine Jefferson
Mike Vogel ... Johnny Foote
Sissy Spacek ... Missus Walters
Brian Kerwin ... Robert Phelan
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Storyline

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times. Written by Walt Disney Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Change begins with a whisper.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 August 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Help See more »

Filming Locations:

Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,044,590, 14 August 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$169,708,112

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$216,639,112
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast includes two sets of same-year Oscar winners for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress: 1980's Spacek (Best Actress) and Steenburgen (Best Supporting Actress) and 2017's Stone (Best Actress) and Davis (Best Supporting Actress). See more »

Goofs

The red Corvette roadster driving past the station wagon in the beginning of the film is a 1965. Later in the film Medgar Evers is shot (1963). 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Final de partida: Los premios Óscar (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
(1963)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ready to burst . . .
11 August 2011 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

I grew up in the 60's, the setting for The Help, a story of Southern prejudice and cruelty toward African Americans, who were chattel of the Southern rich treating their servants as expendable and marginal. I can say that as a Northerner with a black maid for our household, there was love but always a barrier, a carryover from the strict separation still prevailing after reconstruction.

Director Tate Taylor keeps the race relations taut but not strident, as if we were living through the emerging civil rights movement slowly but inevitably aimed at equality, not "separate but equal." Skeeter (Emma Stone) graduates, returns to Jackson, Miss., and decides to write about the black help, whose "perspective' needs to be told. As more maids join in the writing of the manuscript, the more possible it is to counter the assassination of Medgar Evers and eventually that of Martin Luther King.

While we have grown used to the base scatological humor of the Hangovers, Change-UP, and other rom-coms, the fundament motif in The Help is as low-key as will ever be depicted in film. Not only is the idea of the bad guys "eating s—t" effective, it is funny and poignant.

A note about the performances—Bryce Dallas Howard as the conservative, prejudiced Hilly, is remarkably successful, making her a full-fledged actress and not just a famous director's daughter. Jessica Chastain as the ditzy but big-hearted Celia Foote cements her place as a great modern actress following her memorable role as the compliant wife in Tree of Life. Emma Stone no longer need rely on rom-coms, for she stars in The Help with a performance nuanced and underplayed, just the way I like it, albeit a bit too hip for the times.

Although the film tends toward the simplistic, e.g., there are no bad blacks and most whites are obtuse, Viola Davis as maid Aibileen Clark successfully carries the film displaying the ambivalent nature of slavery ready to burst out of its chains.


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