Rated PG-13 for mature themes and ethnic slurs.
Running time: 111 Minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Film Review by Kam Williams
Excellent (4 stars)
Kathryn Stockett made an auspicious debut in 2009 with the publication of The Help, a poignant period piece examining the unquestioned relationships of entitled, white socialites and their deferential black maids in Mississippi. Although the story is set in the author's hometown of Jackson in the early Sixties, her best-selling novel is more fictional than autobiographical in nature.
The screen adaptation unfolds from the point of view of Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), a long-suffering nanny left bone-weary by a life spent "lookin' after white babies." Born in 1911, she is currently raising little Mae Mobley Leefolt (Emma and Eleanor Henry), a recent addition to a prominent Southern family.
Passive-aggressive Minny is lucky even to be alive after her latest outburst
which led to her being dismissed by Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), an
insufferable shrew who only got what she deserved. Minny next lands a position
with Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain), a newcomer ostracized by other well-to-do
ladies because of her white trash roots.
The plot thickens, upon the arrival back in town of cotton plantation heiress Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone). Having spent time away from the racist region, the aspiring journalist now finds herself offended by a way of life everyone else around her seems to take for granted.
by Kathryn Stockett
Hardcover: 464 pages
Mary J. Blige "The Help" Interview