'The Help', a Dreamworks/Disney production, brings Kathryn Stockett's book to life on the screen. Mid- 60's Jackson, Mississippi is still harshly oppressing the African-American population. So called 'Mommies', flounce about volunteering and fundraising by day and playing bridge by night. While their negro nannies raise their children, and cook and clean their houses.
Enter 'Skeeter' (played by Emma Stone). She is university educated and is a lady on a different path. She wants to make a difference; she yearns for change. After a conversation at a ladies bridge night, Skeeter wonders why everyone is so concerned that 'the help' use a bathroom outdoors when 'the help' raises all the white children in town? Ironic for sure.
Skeeter endeavours to write a story using 'the helps' help. Her journey begins with Aibileen, then with Minny. It is a long road to convincing the other 'help' to share their stories, but soon everyone in town has a reason to share.
Your heart will tear with sadness in this movie... bring Kleenex, you will need it. The words: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." had me a bawling wreck every time. It is a time in history that we have all learned about, but after seeing 'The Help' you'll never feel the same again. These strong, resilient women thankfully existed and perhaps raised the next generation to be kind, unbigoted adults.
If you've read 'The Help', you'll find this movie to be very on par. I generally have a hard time watching a movie after having read the book, but i found the movie enriched the text. The actors chosen to round out these roles had beautiful delivery and were very true to their characters (especially Sissy Spacek-- who i've always enjoyed as an actress). And Hilly Holbrook is even more wretched in real life... if you can believe it.
Go see 'The Help'! Definitely one of the best films of the year!
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*Peek Thru Our Window was provided with admission to an advance screening of 'The Help' for the purpose of review, by Disney Canada.*