Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Help movie review

Can you stand another movie review on The Help?  Doug took me to see it last Sunday evening.  He had not read the book and he called the movie a tear-jerker.  If you are an emo like Doug, you might take some tissue along.
If you are a regular reader, you will recall I read the book sometime back and wrote a review of the book.  When it comes to movies vs. books, my advice is always read the book first!  Seems often the movie doesn't measure up to the book.  This movie takes a very close second to the book.  It is fairly accurate to the storyline in the book.  
Skeeter, played by Emma Stone returns home to Jackson, Mississippi after graduating from college.  Upon her return, she learns the family housekeeper and the woman who raised her, Constantine, is gone and no one in the family will give her a straight story as to her disappearance. Constantine is played by Cicely Tyson and there is something about her character that reminds me of my beloved maternal Grandma Doris.  Perhaps it is the way she is wrinkled and old and the way she smiles and the way she encourages and loves Skeeter. 
 
 Skeeter's desire is to be a writer.  She approaches Mr. Blackly, the newspaper reporter, (delightfully played by Leslie Jordan) who asks her to write a cleaning column- something Skeeter knows nothing about.  Thus begins her relationship with the maid Aibileen, who is played by Viola Davis.  (Fans of Davis may recall her brief but stellar performance in the movie Doubt when she played the role of the mother, Mrs. Miller.)
Skeeter develops a relationship with Elain Stein, an editor in New York city, in which she concocts the concept of a book written from the standpoint of the maids- the help.  I was personally tickled to see Mary Steenburgen in her portrayal of Stein.  Skeeter approaches Aibileen, as she is already talking to her on the sly, about telling her stories of how she is treated by white employers.  For some time, Aibileen is the only one who is willing to talk.  Then Minny, who always has plenty to say is the second to begin to talk to Skeeter.  Aibileen opens her home for the secret meetings.
Skeeter's "friend," the hateful Hilly is played by Bryce Dallas Howard.  She does a great job at being a racist, controlling, hateful person.  One that adds a factor of humor to the movie is Sissy Spacek who plays Hilly's mother, Missus Walters.  Missus Walters knows her daughter for her true character and has no problem calling her on it. 

 One character that I felt for was that of Celia Foote.  She is delicate in nature, naive to a fault and doesn't understand how to play the games that Hilly sets up for her.  The character from the book is captured by Jessica Chastain. 
Hilly believes she is the queen of Jackson and controls everyone that lives there.  That isn't necessarily so
One of the character's that I related to was that of Skeeter's mother, Charlotte Phelan, played by Allison Janney.  I loved her spirit in the book even though at times she was over-bearing.  (Isn't that the role of a mother?) And I loved her spirit in the book and the movie when she announces "I've decided not to die."  Simple as that. 
It sounds like something I might decide and announce to my children. 
If you haven't read the book- read it!  If you haven't seen the movie, go see it!  Then tell me what y'all think.  I. loved. it.

9 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

We tried to go last Sunday and it was all sold out! This Sunday we are going to try again. Thanks for the good review.

Karen said...

I loved the book, and am really looking forward to the movie.. great review, thanks!

Donna said...

Loved the book; read at it your suggestion. Looking forward to seeing the movie. Especially now that I heard you loved it too. Oh, and, maybe this is common knowledge, maybe not, but "Hilly" is Ron Howard's daughter. Saw her interviewed on Letterman the other night. She's a neat gal and nothing like the screen meanie.

MamaMonki said...

Already have a girl's night out planned for Saturday to go see it. I'm super excited. I loved the book and so did my friend. We're dolling up and going to dinner first - gonna paint the town!

farmlady said...

What a wonderful review. Thanks. I will try to go see it at the local theater. Think I will ask a friend... this appears to be a movie about women and the ol' Prospector might not identify.

Brian Miller said...

nice...have it on the list to read...have heard such good things about this...

Holly said...

Just saw it last week and after reading your review, I want to go see it again. Great review!

Kris said...

I cannot wait to see it! We are still gone but I aim to see it ASAP!! Loved the book!

Hope said...

Awesome book.....awesome movie. Pretty accurate in the timeline like you stated!

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