The Help is based on a book by the same name, which details the lives of African-American maids who work for white families during the 1960s. The movie stars Emma Stone as a white journalist named Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan who comes home to Mississippi after finishing college to find that her family's old maid Constantine is gone. Viola Davis plays a middle-aged black maid who works for Skeeter's friend.
First off, let me say that I'm a terrible person for movie critiques because I love almost every movie I see. If you want to see me get tough, wait for a book review. Those I can be tough on.
With that being said, I really liked The Help. I really did.
I didn't want to watch it but my mom did so I figured I'd just spend two hours on my computer, switching my gaze from one screen to another. But once it started, I was kind of hooked.
It was little hard to hear, especially when the maids Aibileen and Minny were speaking because they spoke fast and in a phonetic accent but that's the way a lot of people spoke back then so definite points for historical accuracy in speech. Nothing peeves me more than "historical" movies having people speak in accents or languages that weren't used in that day (Valkyrie, anyone?) so it was worth the volume adjustments.
I think that they cast the right people to play the right parts. But I may be biased because I love Emma Stone.
The most enjoyable (but aggravating) character was definitely Hilly Holbrook (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) who was our racist villain. I loved to hate her.
Another enjoyable performance was Jessica Chastain's as Celia Foote, a naive white woman whom Hilly Holbrook hates. She is such a cute person in this film.
The performances and the story were great and made me put down my computer.
It got really emotional at several points to the point where I cried, which is a feat that is not uncommon with heavy, historically-based films.
The thing that sold me the most on this film was that Skeeter (Emma Stone's character) was a sympathetic white woman. I think a lot of people who detail the hardships of African Americans like to place all white people as bad guys but the truth is that not all whites were racists. I like when they show both sides, the evil whites and the good whites instead of just showing the evil oppressors.
Overall it was an awesome movie but it's not a movie I would buy on DVD and watch it over and over.
I'd give it an 8/10. I wish they'd put in more about Adelaide and Minny's pasts and included more of Minny's daughter but I loved the ending even if it was pretty sad.