The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians


Review of Movie: "The Help", by Bernadette (Orlagh)

THE HELP (2011)   
Director: Tate Taylor   
Writers: Tate Taylor (screenplay, Kathryn Stockett: (novel) 
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
The Help is based on Kathryn Stockett's debut novel Published by Penguin in 2009. The book riled a few critics who thought that Stockett, a white woman from Jackson, Mississippi, had some gall to think she could get inside the heads of black maids serving white folks during the early 1960s. Stockett got more than 60 rejections from literary agents but her book touched a raw nerve which led to it being a bestseller. Stockett frankly admits that she could never truly understand what it felt like to be a black woman in Mississippi at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. "But trying to understand," Stockett writes, "is vital to our humanity.
It tells the story of an aspiring young woman author during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s who 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. The film was directed and written – at Stockett's request – by the relatively inexperienced Tate Taylor (her friend from Jackson).
The stars are Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny- they are three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around this secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that society insists on.
The racial imbalances of 1963 are well illustrated and will, no doubt, prompt the question of just how much progress there has been in matters of race since the 1960s - not just in America but also in countries such as our own.
The film's catalyst is Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone), who is trying to spark a career in journalism by getting Aibileen and Minny to confide their feelings about working for white families in a changing South. Skeeter is a tricky part – white girl liberates enslaved black womanhood. It's Skeeter's job to first liberate herself from the bigoted codes passed on through generations, including her mother (Allison Janney) and Skeeter's girlfriends.
The film isn't intended to be so much an historical movie about the ugliness of the era than an optimistic tale of how people have the ability to love one another even when they're surrounded by hatred.
It also delivers some very funny moments and will make you laugh out loud.

Article posted on 10th of October 2014

Click here for a printable version of this page
Web Analytics