The Help

The Help Film Review

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Help And Finds A Poignant Film About The Effects Of  Discrimination 

It is 1960s Mississippi, and Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) returns to her hometown of Jackson.

She desperately wants to become a journalist and is encouraged to get some writing experience from publisher Elain Stein (Mary Steenburgen).

Skeeter starts work at the local newspaper and is given the regular cleaning advice column. 

Having little experience in this area, she asks maid, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davies), for help.

As she spends more time with Aibileen, Skeeter realises how difficult life is for all of the maids in Jackson. This, she decides, is a story that needs to be told. 

Is It Any Good?

There are two reasons why I love The Help. They are Viola Davies and Octavia Spencer. They act their socks off. Their brilliant performances go from heart breaking to hilarious. I could watch them both all day long.

The film also features other great performances - particularly from Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard (as Hilly). Jessica Chastain (as Celia) and Allison Janney (as Skeeter’s mother). They all play their parts extremely well and the story is certainly a satisfying one.

Despite its tough subject, The Help does not seek to upset or even show us much of  the hardships that these woman face. 

It is not harrowing, although it could be. It is not shocking, although it could be. And it is not brutal - although, of course, it could have been.

Instead, The Help gives us two powerful characters and - through humour and sadness - they tell us all that we need to know. 

Random Observations

Interesting that David Oyelowo plays the pastor in The Help. He, of course, then went on to play Martin Luther King in Selma.

I start to tear up early on in this film and cry on and off all the way through. It really tugs on those old heartstrings.

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



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