What a happy little film about Civil Rights-era racism. Maybe not how the filmmakers want the movie to be described, but it's not false. And much to my surprise, I enjoyed this The Help very much.
"Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) has returned home to Jackson, Miss., after graduating college with big dreams of becoming a writer. In her return, Skeeter realizes her family has severed ties with her beloved childhood maid. As a progressive-minded woman, Skeeter pitches the idea of a book from the perspective of the help (GET IT). She asks maids Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) for any kind of tales they may have that would be good enough to be published. The two black women are very skeptical at first, but circumstances arise that make them want to humiliate their employers. As the maids tell their stories to Skeeter, things are made more difficult when Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) becomes suspicious of Jackson's and Clark's actions. If Holbrook's pissed now, just wait until the book is actually released.
I really was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. I went into it thinking it would be a solid film, possibly leaning towards "chick flick" status, but it kept me interested the whole time. Viola Davis will get an Oscar nomination for her performance, and rightfully so, but also deserving are Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain. Every single scene those two women had together in the film could qualify as the best scene in the movie. While this movie may have been a little too cheery to deal with such topics, it's still a great film. It could very well grab a spot on my 2011 Top Ten list. Grade: A-
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