Movie Review of The Help by Dr. mOe Anderson


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Movie Review of The Help by Dr. mOe Anderson

  1. 1. August 17, 2011The Help is a Good MovieMonica "Dr. mOe" Anderson, soulciti.comI sent up a few prayers for the Regal Metropolitan ticket takers at the standing room onlyadvanced screening of The Help. It’s bad enough they’re forced to wear oversized wool blazersthat look as if they were made for The Hulk. They also had to turn away scores of people whoarrived late and stood outside an hour in triple digit temperatures thinking free and generaladmission means “I saved you a seat” in Pig Latin. No, even arriving on time for a free event inAustin means “Sorry. The theatre is full. There’s a bar next door. Enjoy your imported beer andfourteen screens of the Golf Channel.” But I digress. I arrived 90 minutes early and, one large bucket of buttered popcorn, a package of Twizzlers,and eight nachos later, I did see Dreamworks film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s #1 NY Timesbest-selling novel The Help. The book and movie are as much about friendship and trust as theyare about race relations between African-American maids and their employers in 1962. Themovie is perfectly cast with stars Emma Stone as Skeeter a white, recent college grad who viewsthe help as equals unlike everyone else in her social circle, Academy Award-nominated ViolaDavis as Aibileen the bent but unbroken maid, and Octavia Spencer as the divine Ms. Minnywho steals every scene she’s in with her tell-all facial expressions and righteous indignationabout the strange, racist fruit of Southern family trees.Director Tate Taylor (who was childhood BFF’s with the author) does an impressive job ofmixing humor and hate without diluting the bitter taste of Jim Crow’s last call. Cicely Tysonappears in flashback scenes looking like Jane Pittman in a maid’s uniform to remind us with herpatented crooked finger pointing that evil does expire. (Her complexion is flawless, by the way.Isn’t she a hundred years-old?) And Sissy Spacek is award worthy for her portrayal of thedemented, mildly racist mother of Junior League President, Hilly Holbrook (Bryce DallasHoward) who is very racist but not as yet diagnosed insane. The movie is a little slow and melodramatic at times like when baby Mae Mobley is sayingthings to her beloved black nanny that my grandson never says to me. But overall, it’s worth themoney for the great cast and history lessons. I only hope you have the pleasure, as I did, ofwatching this segregated movie in an integrated theatre. Then, lines like “Sometimes courageskips a generation” make you smile extra wide inside …and out.