The Help (Love It Enough To Buy It)--So, I bought the book "The Help" last year when my friend Heidi came to visit. She recommended the book and so I bought a copy. It took me a little while to get to reading it and I admit that it took about five chapters in before I was hooked. But then, I loved it. I know there has been some "controversy" because a white woman was writing a black woman's perspective, but to be honest, anything that revisits the turmoil and strife of the civil rights need in the country is alright with me.
So now to the movie. The movie is a very good adaptation of the book. For me books are almost always better, but I think this movie did a wonderful job of conveying the most important parts of the story and helps to develop the relationships beautifully.
Viola Davis as Abileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny are mind blowingly good. I LOVED their performances, and felt they perfectly captured the women in that book. Break out the Oscars, because they deserve nominations. The younger ladies did well too. Emma Stone does a good job with Skeeter and Bryce Dallas Howard is pitch perfect as Hilly. I can't stand her (the character) and that is a good thing. Bryce absolutely conveys the bigotry and ignorance that was pervasive and strong in that era.
The supporting cast is also good. There is not a weak performance in the movie and I really liked Allison Janney as Skeeter's mother (she's always one of my favorites).
I also thought the film did a great job of conveying the fear that the two lead maids felt and the fear and degredation that the other maids in the movie felt as well. The worry that your whole life could change or end because you step out of line, was hard to watch, but needs to be seen. There's a line in the book that white men will fight it out, but that white women will pick away like a dental tool until they get what they want. This is shown in the movie and it's scary that people will abuse and use their power that way.
I love the scene where the other maids finally decide to tell their stories. They are scard to death, but they are brave enough to show what really goes on and to get this information out. I also like that not all white people in the movie are awful, some of the maids have good stories about the families they work for. They show the good and the bad.
Go see this movie.
It's told from the perspective of women, but I think it's not a "chick flick". Men and women, young and old should see this movie, and how the history behind it is still shaping our world today.
I recently had a book club that was talking about Germany and the rules that outlawed Jews from basic citizenship. Someone in the discussion asked if this could ever happen in America. I told him to go see this movie, The Help, because it shows that we've already been there. We need to remember the past so we don't repeat it.
GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! AND READ THE BOOK!!!!