Amazon Holiday

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Help

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: An aspiring journalist (Emma Stone) in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi interviews the town's Negro maids (Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer) and publishes their crazy stories in a tell-all book.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Ahna O'Reilly, Allison Janney, Anna Camp, Eleanor & Emma Henry, Chris Lowell, Cicely Tyson, Mike Vogel, Sissy Spacek, Brian Kerwin, Wes Chatham, Aunjanue Ellis, Ted Welch, Mary Steenburgen

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! It's an inspirational tale of courage and standing up for what's right, but it's not the best one you'll ever see, and it's waaaaaaay tooooo lonnnng.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain make for an unlikely comedy team, but after you see them in this film, you will never want to see them do a scene in which they are not together.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: The fact that it doesn't really, is one of my major gripes with it. This kind of movie should not be allowed into theaters until it has guaranteed tears built in.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will likely duke it out for a nomination as Best Supporting Actress, even though they are clearly the leads. Then Viola will take the nom, because she's been nominated before, and because Octavia is too funny to get an Academy Award.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: This is the first time ever that I have enjoyed a performance by Bryce Dallas Howard. She is magical in this. And Sissy Spacek (in the tiny role) as her mom is the very best thing this movie has going.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Who is Tate Taylor? From what I can tell, he's made a few movies (mostly shorts) that I've never heard of, and acted in a few movies and TV shows in the role of "Nameless Friend or Passerby," so how did he get this gig?... Well, he's best friends with the author of the novel, Kathryn Stockett, and after her 60th rejection by a publisher, he decided to option the rights to her book, not knowing that it would one day become a best seller. To which I say, "Have any of y'all written a book I should read?"

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Civil rights stories about injustice, oppression and racism will always have a special place in my heart. But somehow, despite a multitude of spectacular performances, this one plays a bit like a movie of the week-- with less crying. I think the sense of danger is not built up enough in the script or the visuals, to make you feel it on a visceral or in an always present kind of way. Often, you completely forget that there is any danger in what these people are doing, because it's never taken quite far enough-- i.e. no one that we care about is ever physically threatened before our eyes.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Help Trailer

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Dan O. said...

Appalling, entertaining, touching and perhaps even a bit healing, The Help is an old-fashioned grand yarn of a film, the sort we rarely get these days. Good Review! Check out mine when you can!

Annette said...

I couldn't put the book down, but I thought the movie was better.

Compared to the movie, the book seemed to drag out the difficult relationship between Skeeter and her mom, and the relationship between Skeeter and Stuart.

The movie downplayed the racial violence and it was more upbeat than the book, but the book didn't make me cry. The movie did make me cry in a few places--but I'm PMSing, so I don't know if that counts because I cried during all the trailers for the upcoming movies too. LOL