‘The Help’ (2011) Review : Tate Taylor

Earlier this week I went to see ‘The Help.’ It was a beautiful film that genuinely had everybody laughing & crying together. It is one of those films that is vital in history… here is my little review I did (don’t worry there aren’t any spoilers):

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, ‘The Help’ is a compelling story about Skeeter (Emma Stone), an aspiring journalist who discards the customs of her white, middle class friends and family to reveal the suffering of the African American housemaids in Jackson, Mississippi.

Set in 1963, the year Medgar Evers was shot by a Klan member meant there was a strong sense of contextual accuracy. However, Tate Taylor avoids the politics and focuses more on the stories of exploitation the African American women tell about their employers which become not only deeply moving but also highly entertaining.

The film had the audience’s emotions yo-yoing. First the audience finds themselves in hysterical laughter at Minny, who was played to perfection by Octavia Spencer leaving Minny as one of the film’s most memorable characters. Then before you have a chance to compose yourself something heart breaking starts the tears rolling.

The opposing side to the black women is the demanding and manipulative Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her glossy group of ladies. Their chauvinistic points of view are all represented in their support for the campaign in which the town’s maids are to use separate, outdoor bathrooms from their white families.

The film is easy to digest and it accurately recreates the poverty of the housemaids without making it too politically charged. Other than a very short lived and slightly pointless romance between Skeeter and Stuart the film comes together nicely to produce something light hearted and warm.

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