The Help is a story of three women – Aibeleen, an African American woman who raises white children like her own: Minny, another African American woman maid whose smart mouth gets her into trouble; and :Skeeter” a white girl who is writer and wants to write about the world. As a writer, she wanted to give voice to the anonymous black maids, and she did.
The movie is set in the early 60’s in Jackson, Mississippi about upper middle class white families and their African American maids. There are two cultures living side by side and neither is willing to open up. The 60’s is not long ago but the racism specially in the South is appalling. The villains are all the white women of Jackson’s Junior League and their bridge club.
Eugenia Phelan returns to Jackson, Mississippi from college (Ole Miss) only to be outraged at the way her African American family maid was summarily fired by her mother. She befriended Aibileen, the maid of her friend Hilly, and gets her to talk for the record about what her life as a maid working for a white family. Skeeter came up with the idea of writing an article about maids from their point of view and using their stories. Their stories paint a picture of Southern life in that era. We can see the indignities that they endured.
The movie is very well acted, it is superb from start to finish. The main characters acted their characters very well that they stick with you. Emma Stone played Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, Viola Davis played Aibileen and Octavia Spencer played Minny. Octavia Spencer’s tart comic timing perks up every scene she’s in. The performance of Bryce Dallas Howard as Miss Hilly, a college friend of Skeeter, is magnificent.
The Help is a pretty good film, one of the best of 2011. This is a feel-good movie with the oppressed maids getting their revenge. The movie presents the voices of strong-willed black women in the South. The movie is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of Kathryn Stockett of the same name. It is written and directed by Tate Taylor.