- User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Excellent acting, filled with gripping and humorous theatrical performances.
Cons:Stereotypes, language and some historical concepts are omitted.
The Bottom Line: Overall this film gives a glimpse of horrors of racism and yet it offers a glimpse of hope in humanity.
The Help (2011) directed by Tate Taylor is a complex story about love, acceptance, friendship and race in the lives of Southern women. The story unfolds with Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) asking Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) how do you feel raising someone else’s child here while leaving your own children at home. This question opens the proverbial Pandora’s Box to an uneasy separation that has existed in American society for a very long time where living on the wrong or right side of the track was the law of the land during a time when Jackson, Mississippi was separate and unequal.
Skeeter returns to her home after graduating from Ole Miss looking for a job, and her former housemaid Constantine Jefferson (Cicely Tyson). Skeeter’s now forced to examine a world that judge’s people based upon the color of their skin. She is presented with a pivotal realization and embarks upon a journey she undertakes in her search for Constantine. Lead protagonist Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is molded in her father’s segregationist image despite her compassionate mother-in-law Mrs. Walters (Sissy Spacek) who has reached an age where she can no longer live independently.
The plot revolves around prominent southern families and the struggles of African American housemaids in Jackson, MS during the Civil Rights and infamous Jim Crow era. The subplot unfolds around women and their place in society and their fight for equality. The pacing in the movie is good although some of the film’s historical concepts are omitted. The production value of the movie is a testament to the work put into the film’s technical qualities and picture perfect cinematography however the film presents the softest view possible.
The artistic performances from the cast were exceptional filled with many gripping and humorous performances with standout takes from the central and extras cast. The lead character’s naiveté and the protagonist exploits and supporting cast personal stories provide much of the film’s substance. While the film attempts to portray a certain point in history it still fails to capture the complex experience of people of color in America and the mistreatment housemaids endured.
The PG-13 rating is appropriate for this 137 minute film due to its language and material that is not appropriate for all children. Overall this film gives a glimpse of horrors of racism and yet it offers a glimpse of hope in humanity. I’m recommending this film and give it 4 out of 5 stars and hope that viewers find balance in this collaborative story that pushes the nation’s social conscience forward with each scene.
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Movie Mood: None of the Above
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Nothing