The Help: Movie Review
Cast: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica
Chastain, Octavia Spencer
Director: Tate Taylor
Taken from a best selling novel published in 2009 by Kathryn Stockett, The
Help stars the very talented Emma Stone as Skeeter Phelan in the time of the
Civil Rights movement in 1960s America.
The film follows Skeeter's relationship with Aibileen (Viola Davis), an
African American maid who's been raising white children for many years. It also
charts her time with fellow maid Minny (Spencer) whose outspoken nature has got
her fired from several positions.
Skeeter's just finished university and decides the way into journalism is to
try and pitch an article about the maids and their relationships and tales of
working with the prejudices and racism of 1960s America.
But as the story unfolds, it appears all kinds of relationships are about to
be tested in Jackson, the heartland of the American South.
It's into inspirational and formulaic chick flick territory we go with The
Help - a tale that covers all the bases from the time with a solid performance
from a good ensemble.
Once again, Emma Stone demonstrates why she's fast becoming Hollywood's go to
girl for slightly feisty chicks with a heart; she's very watchable in this as
her character trail blazes the fight against racism; Viola Davis is stoic as the
long suffering Aibileen who is the victim of prissy bitchy Hilly Holbrook (Bryce
Dallas Howard) the leader of a snooty pack of women and Octavia Spencer brings a
smattering of humour to the maid who takes vengeance on Hilly after years of
That's the thing with The Help; it does exactly what it says on the tin.
While it's a little overlong and could have done with a hint of editing, this
tale of empowerment and standing up, mixed with a dash of social commentary, is
what you'd expect and is the perfect mother and daughter kind of outing - or a
good night out for the girls.
Emotional and moving, The Help is a sturdy showcase of talent with some great
performances- however, with a slightly more experienced eye behind the camera,
it could have transcended from something a little middle of the road to
something a little more sensational.