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The Help Movie Review

“The Help” is a New York Times Best Seller written by Kathryn Stockett.   The story takes place in Jackson Mississippi during the late 50′s to the early 60′s.   I love period pieces that transport me back to any point in time.  Books & the internet are all fine & good, but a well-acted movie tends to resonate with me on a higher level. I need to see it.

The Help wouldn’t take anyone back if the acting wasn’t on point.  The cast was perfect.  The movie shines a big bright spotlight on what it must’ve been like as an African American maid raising & caring for well-to-do white children.  Abileen (Viola Davis) is the emotional anchor & you are pulling for her every singe second she’s on the screen.  Minny (Octavia Spencer) is so magnificent & sassy & quite the baker using the most creative spices.

Back to the employers. I’ve seen the Freddy Kruegers, the vicious aliens & the Michael Myers.  I will tell you now, there’s nothing more evil than a group of uppity white women from the south with hate in their hearts.  It will chill you to the bone.  Bryce Dallas Howard turns in an amazing performance as manipulative & bigoted Hilly Holbrook.  Finally there’s Skeeter. (Emma Stone) She’s a pistol with something to say & a way to say it.  Instead of hunkering down to raise a family, she’s graduated from college & looking to make a difference any way, any how.  Skeeter’s got her head on right. Y’see Skeeter was raised by an African American maid Constantine. (Cicely Tyson)

At the time, racial tensions were escalated to the point of critical mass.   This story angles in on domestic issues not widely publicized.  Case in point, African American maids were discouraged, if not straight out prohibited to use a white family’s toilet.  They were built crude outhouses. The reason was because white families thought they were protecting their children.  The real reason: Insanity. Prejudice. Ignorance.

No one really knew of such cruelty. That is until Skeeter got it in her mind to interview the maids about the plight of their lives.   Met with fear & resistance, the maids ultimately banded together as a group of courageous ghost writers telling their stories.  The stories range from young to old, funny to heartbreaking.

I enjoyed seeing The Help. It shows just how far we’ve come as a nation. Sadly, it also shows how little we’ve come as a nation.  People out there who used to say, ‘you can’t use the white people’s toilet!’  It’s hard to imagine there are people out there today saying, ‘You can’t use our White House.’  The ugly face of racism is crippling America & it saddens me.  Get over the hate people & let’s move forward.

I’m not sorry about getting into a sticky subject.  The Help is a movie that opens up a festering wound.  If someone you know slags off this film as something, ‘We’ve all seen before,’ ‘been there, done that.’  Y’might wanna take a look closer at that person.  What are their reasons for avoiding this movie?  If that’s the case, do yourself & them a favor, take them to see this movie. Couldn’t hurt right?

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