Wow! I have just come home after going to the cinema with my mum and husband to watch the movie, “The Help“. I must say that it is one of the best movies that I have seen for a while. I loved it.

It left me with a good feeling that there are people who will do what is right and stand up against the wrong that others are doing. It is an inspiring movie!

I found the arrogance and ignorance of many of the white people in Jackson, Mississippi to be very disturbing and saddening.

I salute the brave women who stood up and took a stand in the midst of such racism and threats against their own safety and that of their families.

My Rating: 9.0/10
My Recommendation: This is a movie that is well worth going to see!


Cast:

  • Emma Stone – Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan
  • Viola Davis – Aibileen Clark
  • Bryce Dallas Howard – Hilly Holbrook
  • Octavia Spencer – Minny Jackson
  • Jessica Chastain – Celia Foote
  • Ahna O’Reilly – Elizabeth Leefolt
  • Allison Janney – Charlotte Phelan
  • Anna Camp – Jolene French
  • Eleanor Henry and Emma Henry (twins) – Mae Mobley Leefolt
  • Sissy Spacek – Missus Walters

General Information:

  • Released: August 10 2011 [USA], September 1 2011  [Australia], October 26 2011 [UK]
  • Rated: M (Mature themes) [Australia], PG-13 [USA], 12A [UK]
  • Length: 2 hrs 17 mins
  • Genre: Drama

Favorite Line:
I have 2 favorite lines in ‘The Help’.

1. Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) repeated this to each of the children that she raised over her many years as a maid for these rich white families.

During the film, Aibileen said this to her young charge, Mae Mobley (Eleanor Henry and Emma Henry (twins)), “You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important!”


Aibileen’s heart was to teach the young ones, that she was responsible for, that they had value no matter what else was happening around them in their family or life.

2. Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) saying to Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), “You can eat my Sh**”
Perhaps this is not the usual kind of line out of a movie that I would select as my favorite, but in this movie and in the context in which it was made, this was a statement that stood out to me! [Watch the movie and you will understand.]

Favorite Scene:
There were 3 favorite scenes in the movie, The Help.

1. My favorite scene is the one in which my favorite line was spoken. When Minny baked a home made chocolate pie and brought it to Hilly after she had been fired from her job, unjustly. Hilly loved the pie so much and after finishing the first slice she took a second piece and began to eat it.

The scene continues as Minny then said then line above.

Hilly’s mum Missus Walters (Sissy Spacek) burst out laughing so loudly in this scene that also followed suit and joined her, and other moviegoers, and laughed out loud in the cinema.

2. My second favorite scene was when Hilly received the check from Celia Foote. The check was written out to “Two Slice Hilly“.

You have to see the movie to understand really, but it made me laugh once I realized what it meant.

3. The scene at the end of the fundraiser evening when Missus Walters held out the winning pie made by Minny to show her daughter Hilly.

Missus Walters said, “I may not remember my name, but there are two things that I do remember. One is that my daughter put me into a nursing home. Two that my daughter ate 2 slices of Minny’s chocolate pie!”

Storyline:

The movie ‘The Help’ is based on the novel, also called, ‘The Help‘, written by American author Kathryn Stockett in 2009.

Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960’s during the civil rights movement. Life was certainly not easy for the black people living in this part of America at this point in history.

Skeeter (Emma Stone) saw the injustice around her and decided to write about it to bring the evil that was happening in her hometown to the light. This is where the story begins with Skeeter following up and researching true stories that were happening in the lives of the maids in Jackson.

Scenes that Tugged at My Heart
There are too many scenes to mention that really touched and spoke to me, but here are a couple.

1. After Mae Mobley’s mum Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O’Reilly) left her daughter with her maid and nanny, Aibileen, the little toddler, Mae Mobley looked up at Aibileen and said, “Aib-ee, you are my real mama.

I thought that was powerful! These loving, black maids, who spent much more time with their employer’s children than their own kids at home, were basically raising these white children.

2. The scene at the end of the movie, where Aibileen had just been fired, along with false accusations by Hilly, as she hugged little Mae Mobley for the very last time. Mae Mobley begged and said, “Don’t go Aib-ee. Don’t leave me!

But with tears in her eyes Aibileen told Mae Mobley that she had to go, even though she did not want to. For the very last time Aibileen told this precious little girl to remember all that she had taught her. Aibileen got little Mae Mobley to once again repeat those powerful words, “You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important!”

I could feel my heart rip out and feel some of the pain that this little girl felt as she saw the one who had loved her and believed in her, when her biological mom had not, walking away.

And the pain that Aibileen felt as she walked away hearing the cries behind her of this young child who loved her and whom she loved.

3. The scene where Skeeter learned why her own nanny, Constantine, who had been with the family for 29 years, suddenly disappeared.

This broke my heart and it certainly did Skeeter’s heart too!

Summary:
This movie, The Help, really spoke to me. It made me laugh in some of the scenes and to cry in others. Even more than that, “The Help” made me think and contemplate relationships and how I relate to others around me.

At some points through the movie all I could do was to shake my head and wonder at the strength that these African-American women had to continue to serve as maids in homes where they were treated with not only disrespect, but also contempt and hatred.

The story outlined how even using the toilet in the home where they worked, often for many years, was considered to be a thing of disgrace and was forbidden by some of these white employers.

The way that some of the white women spoke so dishonoringly of their black maids, even while they were in the room, just broke my heart!

This is a movie which I could watch again as it speaks to the heart of the issue that people are all created for a purpose and all have value.

I believe that each of us owe it to our children and future generations to take a stand and speak out to make a difference in the world around us, just as these women did in this film.

Again, I pay respect to each of the men and women who stood up, not only as shown in the film, but also down through the years to bring more equality to each living person, no matter the color of their skin or other differences that may exist.

Watch the video below to see some Behind the Scenes clips from “The Help“.

Let’s take a stand together and Declare that All People were Created Equal, All have Value and All deserve to be treated with Honor and Respect!

Until next time, Remember to Enjoy Life, Smile at a Stranger and Make a Difference in the World!

Leanne Annett <><

One Response to “The Help Movie Review”

  1. john

    The reactions to this film have been as predictable as day following night. Broadly speaking white people like it (Oh its the best movie, and funny, I recommend it wholeheartedly) and black people curse under their breath “not another DAMN mammy film again”.

    Lets be clear, simply liking a film does not make you a racist. BUT, fawning over it and saying its the best movie you have seen, funny, witty etc and FAILING to notice the repetition of the same old tired stereotypes and themes DOES suggest that you are perhaps too “comfortable” (and thus not challenging enough) of those images and the status quo.

    That unfortunately DOES make you complicit in maintaining the veneer of living in a “post racial” world despite the glaring inequalities (if you care to look) that still exist.

    Its been done … nothing? new here. A movie purportedly about racism afflicting an oppressed community, but actually about the experience of the affluent white person defending that community. “To Kill a Mocking bird”, “Cry Freedom.” “Mississippi Burning.”, “The blind Side” the list goes on …

    To see why white people tend to like these films see these links:

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2010/07/warmly-embrace-racist-novel-to-kill.html
    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2010/07/force-non-white-students-to-read-great.html
    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2010/05/rewrite-us-history-so-that-white-people.html

    You will find a few eye openers there that may help take off the blinkers most of us on, when we choose to fail to see what is happening around us.

    Reply

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