Chick Movie of the Summer!
If you loved the book, you'll love the movie. If you didn't read the book, you should, but see the movie first anyway. It's one of the best adaptations from a book to film I've seen in ages. The bestselling book is by Kathryn Stockett.
It's about a young writer, named Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, who decides to tackle the taboo topic of domestic help from the perspective of black maids in Jackson, Mississippi in the volatile early 60's. She wonders how it feels for these black women to raise white babies. The Jim Crow laws made pursuit of such a thing illegal so it was difficult for Skeeter to get the maids to speak to her. She's a society girl fresh out of college and comes home to find all of her rich, snobby friends married with children.
If Viola Davis doesn't get an Oscar nomination – I quit! She was fantastic as Aibileen, the maid who is first to tell her touching story. Octavia Spencer is the equally superb, Minnie. Both actors steal the movie and really make it work. They both had compelling things to say about their life long jobs raising white children. Things go haywire as they reveal very personal information that effects a lot of the families in their circle.
Skeeter's stuck-up Junior League girlfriends employ the maids, so we learn about their racism from the stories told by the maids. It tears at your heartstrings to know that people use to live this way for real and it was totally acceptable on many levels. Bryce Dallas-Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Cicley Tyson and Jessica Chaistain all turned in excellent, believable, entertaining performances. Spacek really cracked me up. Did I mention how fabulous this movie looked?! The clothes, the cars, the furnishings, the yards - all perfect for that trying time in American history.
I cried a few times and I laughed a lot. It's a fascinating story, told in an authentic manner. It's wonderful to see so many terrific roles for women all in one movie. I highly recommend The Help. Grab your girls and go.