The Help

Wednesday 31st December 2014

Director: Tate Taylor
Year: 2011
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney

At first, I thought that this movie was going to annoy me tremendously. All the black characters were likable, good people, and all the white characters (with the exclusion of the protagonist) seemed to be stereotypical racists.

The Help tells the story of Skeeter Phelan (Stone), a white woman twenty-something living in the Deep South of America during the 1960s, who decides to write a book detailing the lives of black maids (The Help) in Jackson, Mississippi. Eventually she succeeds in getting maids to tell their stories, so this is as much the story of the maids as it is of Skeeter herself.

Thankfully things don't turn out quite like I thought they would. As The Help continues, people are shown to be more complex than they were portrayed as initially, with good bits and bad bits in (almost) everybody. This is still a Hollywood movie, so of course there are very good people and properly evil characters, but the good/ bad black/ white divide becomes more subtle as the film moves along. This is definitely a movie with a point to make, but it's not a bad point, and it's definitely an interesting bit of history.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.