Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"The Help" 2011

"The Help"

I read this book last year.  It totally engrossed me.   As I often do, I started it because I heard a movie was coming up. 

The story is great.  Emma Stone plays Skeeter.  She is an idealistic college graduate.  While she took the time to finish school rather than get a husband, she is a freak amongst her more traditional friends.  Her mother is sure she is rotting on vine and will be a spinster.  Rough for a twenty-two year old to deal with.

Charlotte Phelan: Your eggs are dying. Would it kill you to go on a date?

Bryce Dallas Howard is Hilly the queen bee of the Jackson Junior Leaguers.  I was surprised she didn't get her own nominations.  She is a racist bully with bouffant hair. 

Hilly Holbrook: They carry different diseases than we do. That's why I've drafted the Home Health Sanitation Initiative.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: The what?
Hilly Holbrook: A disease-preventative bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help. It's been endorsed by the White Citizen's Council.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: Maybe we should just build you a bathroom outside, Hilly.

But they are both blown out of the water by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.

The emotion they express with a mere glance makes this movie real.  It actually elevated the material beyond what it could have been in less talented hands. 

Aibileen Clark: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Sissy Spacek offers comic relief.  She needs to get more work.  She is so awesome.

This is my first experience with Jessica Chastain.  The character in the book is a bit flat, but she breaths life into those tight sweaters.  Her chemistry with Octavia Spencer is wonderful.

Celia Foote: They don't like me because of what they think I did.
Minny Jackson: They don't like you 'cause they think you white trash.

Like "Steel Magnolias" the men in the cast are secondary. 

But this movie is such a wonderful twist of comedy, drama and a powerful message.  It is hard to imagine what these women went through to make a living.  So many imagine these women raising other women's children as kind of a modern Mammy.  

Watch it.  It is amazing. 

One thing, I don't know if I will ever be able to eat a homemade chocolate pie again.  Just see the movie, you'll understand.

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