Film Review

By Duncan L. Dieterly

The Help (2011)
In the middle of the racial upheaval in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi a young woman, fresh from college graduation begins her writing career by producing the household advice column in the local newspaper. Skeeter Phelan is following a different path than her female friends by working rather than seeking a prize husband. Having grown up in a house with servants she unfortunately knows little about cleaning must seek out advice through discussions on the topic with the family maids of the town. Inadvertently, she opens a bucket of worms by exceeding the mundane details of cleaning and discovering the odd indiscriminate behavior of the well-to-do town women who still treat their maids like slaves. The story focuses on the suppression of the maids while the racial strife of the times is boiling over around them. The impact of the bus boycott results in one woman, Missus Walters, for her own convenience, offers her maid a lift to work. Insuring her maid would be on time for work. After suddenly realizing how ugly her friends prejudiced against the Negro has become, she openly supports the boycott by giving others rides. Skeeter produces a book based on the information she gathers and sets the town on its ear since it is easily seen who she is talking about. The book becomes a national success and Skeeter, who is reunited with her mother over her ill treatment of their family maid, is off to the big city for a new career. The town’s maids left behind must still struggle on in dignity seeking their deserved equality. Director: Tate Taylor Writer: Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett Studio: Dreamworks SKG Stars: Emma Stone (Skeeter Phelan) Viola Davis (Aibileen Clark) Octavia Spenser (Mimmy Jackson) Won Best Supporting Actress Academy Award 2012 Sissy Spacek (Missus Walters) Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 146 minutes Color

Rating: 6

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Type: Southern Female Society March 13, 2012

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