My Review of the film: The Help (12A)
UK Cinema Release Date: Wednesday 26th October 2011
On October 13th I attended a pre-view screening of The Help. This is a film based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Kathryn Stockett. I hadn’t read the book myself but I had heard from friends that it is very good, hence why I wanted to see the film.
I wasn’t disappointed; this is an excellent film around a very moving story of life in 1960s Mississippi. Lives lived in black and white segregation, social and class division, but, mainly the status of rich white housewives employing black maids. These maids were primarily employed to look after house, to do chores and to cook meals. However, many of these maids looked after the babies and children of these so-called socialites, many of these rich women seemed to have no maternal instincts at all, so it makes you wonder why they even had children. Therefore, in many instances the children looked upon these maids as mothers, yet these maids had families of their own and needed to work to support them. So while looking after children of these white families they had to find someone to look after their own.
These maids have an ally in Skeeter played by Emma Stone a young woman from a well to-do family, recently graduated and now working on the local paper. Through her friendship with the maids Skeeter becomes object of scorn to the wealthy locals and her friends, they view her actions as directly challenging the established social order
The film moves through all emotions, showing how the original book came to be written from many stories told by the black maids in this community. The film took me through my emotions, laughing, sighing and eyes filling with tears. There are many excellent performances, however, I think Viola Davis should be Oscar nominated for her performance as the devoted housekeeper Aibileen. Having now seen this film I shall definitely be reading the book.
(Review also published in Verita Magazine)
I also love the theme song from this film. The Living Proof sung by Mary J Blige.