Monday, August 8, 2011

The Help Review

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a 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 define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.

I was able to finish the book prior to seeing the film, and whether you read it before or after you should definitely read it. The film stays pretty true to the book, but obviously there are certain things left out, nothing critical to the plot though. The whole book/film intrigued me from the beginning because my husband, Scott, is from Jackson and his Mom lived there during the time the book is set. Scott came with me to the film and after it was over the first thing he said to me was, "Yup, that's Jackson." He said when he grew thing weren't nearly as bad as when the film was set, but that nothing surprised him. Growing up he, himself, had a maid named Hattie Mae, who was treated like a member of the family (similar to when Minny was with Celia in the film). Hattie Mae was the one who potty trained him and helped look after him when he was growing up.

The group that screened the film with us was amazing. I sat with a lot of the press, but all around us were families who had family members in similar situations during this time frame. I was glad the audience was like this because it added to the film and I cannot wait to read some of their interviews that they gave to our local film critic.

The film itself is powerful, and thankfully has plenty of light moments to take off some of the weight of the film. Allison Janney is amazing as always, Emma Stone was a pleasant surprise as Skeeter, and hands down Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer stole the show. The back and forth between Howard and Spencer is priceless and handled spectacularly.

The film opens nationwide on Wednesday and I truly hope you are able to see it (make sure you bring tissues). I can't wait to see your reactions and thoughts to the film! For those of you that attended BlogHer over the weekend and saw the film, what did you think?

Thank you again to the wonderful people at Disney Studios and Moroch for allowing me to get a sneak peek at the film!

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