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The Help ~ Movie Review

This weekend the Pretty Lady and I saw a movie that’s a definite must see if you haven’t already.  I know I don’t have Roger Ebert’s credentials, but I’m 99%  certain you and your significant other will be thoroughly entertained the same way we were.   I’d be shocked if this movie doesn’t receive nominations for at least the best picture and best actress.  The Help is a movie about courage and the ability of individuals to come into own despite the societal pressures to keep the status quo.  The Help is the name given to African American maids by the white families who employ them.  The movie brought back memories of my Aunt Mamie who worked as a domestic for a family in Omaha during the 60’s and 70’s – may God bless her memory.

The movie is a screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Kathyn Stockett’s of the same name.  The movie is set in the early 1960’s, in the town of Jackson, Mississippi.  The civil rights movement is just building momentum.  The main characters are Skeeter Phelan, a recent Ole’ Miss graduate and aspiring journalist; Aibileen Clark, the primary character who’s one of the Help; and Aibileen’s best friend also one of the Help, Minny Jackson.

Author, Kathryn Stockett

The movie highlights the black and white world at the time and how the two world’s intersects when the domestics are working in the white homes.  You see the spectrum of race relations from the racist Hilly Holbrook and her coterie of societal friends; the poor and socially isolated white trash Celia Foote; and Skeeter, who values were inline with the civil rights philosophy.  The prejudicial and racist rules at the time were mind blowing.  A black maid can hug, kiss, breast feed and practically raise a white child, but they had to use the outside toilet.

From left to right: Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen

The movie centers around Skeeter’s idea to tell the story of the Help and she enlists the help of Aibileen and eventually Minny to get their stories as well as those of the other maids – a dangerous venture at that time.  Consider this fair warning – this is a movie that will make you cry – cry with anger at the social injustice, cry from laughing when old commodes litter Hilly’s yard or when you learn of Minny’s secret ingredient in her chocolate pie, and you’ll cry from joy as Aibileen and Minny come into their own as women of strength and courage.  Please go see it, you’ll be happy you did. See what others have to say about the movie by clicking here.

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