Movie Review – The Help

I was invited to see ‘The Help’ last Thursday.  Me being me, and let’s face it, I live with my head in a bubble most of the time, I didn’t realise that it was an  invitation only preview and that the movie doesn’t actually open to the public until August.   I was pretty confused when I was frisked as I entered the theatre…

The movie is true to the book, which means it was wonderful!  I really recommend both the book and the movie.

The plot centers around the town of Jackson, Mississippi and the lives of black maids and their white employees in the 1960s.  One woman Hilly, has an extraordinary influence over her friends and is a bully.  Hilly is played by Bryce Howard whose father, incidentally, is Ron Howard.  I thought she did great in this role but she just wasn’t as menacing as the book character.  Skeeter is her white protagonist who persuades the maids to tell her their stories so she can write about their experiences and get herself a job as a journalist.  Skeeter is played by Emma Stone, again a great performance but too pretty and not awkward enough to match the character in the book.   My neighbor in the movie theatre, who is actually from Jackson, Mississippi, was kind enough to explain the nick name ‘Skeeter’.    It means someone who is always active and up to mischief, usually given to boys…   My neighbor also told me that a lot of her friends and relatives in Jackson refuse to believe that any of the incidents in the book could have happened, and I thought I had my head in the clouds….  Yes, it’s fiction, but it is based on reality.

The parts of the Maids Abileen and Minny were played by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer – perfect!! 

 The only disappointment for me was the lack of emotion and detail in the relationship between Minny and her white trash employer Celia Foote played by Jessica Chastain.

All in all, I give the movie a 9 out of 10, the book was a perfect 10.   I had the added bonus of sitting in a movie theatre half filled with members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  This is a nation-wide African-American female university sorority and the members stay connected and active all their lives.  They also wear red when they meet up and really interact with everyone and everything around them – definitely a bonus when watching this movie!!  I may have added a point to the movie just for them…


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