The Help


Rating: 4 / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager 

The story: 

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times. 

My review: 

This was a very impressive movie with some incredible performances. Based on a true story, The Help is an inspirational look at how strong people can really be in the face of adversity. In this case, the adversity being segregation and treatment of the women who helped raise white folks’ children, but were not even allowed to use the bathroom. Some of the scenes I found hard to watch, and it’s almost unbelievable that people were treated so appallingly not really that long ago. 

Viola Davis, whom I last saw in ‘Eat Pray Love’ as Julia Robert’s best friend, and alongside Meryl Streep in the brilliant ‘Doubt’, dominates the movie, but almost stealing the show is Octavia Spencer as Minny. You’ll never look at a chocolate pie the same way again thanks to this woman. 

The Help is doing really well at the US box office, currently sitting at #1 and it’s not hard to see why. Go and watch this movie, and take some tissues. 

Standout performance: Viola Davis in a potentially Oscar-winning role, and Octavia Spencer also gives an incredible performance.
This movie is now showing at Reading Cinemas in Queenstown. This review has been written and rated by Sally Burgess of Reading Cinemas Queenstown.
The Help
Rated: M- adult themes
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Genre: Drama
Running time: 156 mins