The Help is a 2011 Comedy Drama Film Reviews

The Help is a 2011 comedy-drama film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's homonymous 2009 novel about a young white woman, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, and her relationship with two black maids during Civil Rights era America in the early 1960s. Skeeter is a journalist who decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of the maids (known as the Help), exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families. The film takes place in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel and Allison Janney. The Help opened to positive reviews and became a box office success with a gross of $153 million against its budget of $25 million.

Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a middle-aged black maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son. Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is another black maid whose outspokenness has gotten her fired many times and built up a reputation for being a difficult employee, but she makes up for this with her phenomenal cooking skills.
Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating from the University of Mississippi[4] to find that her beloved childhood maid, Constantine, has quit while she was away. Skeeter is skeptical because she believes Constantine would have written.
Unlike her friends, who have all married and are having children, Skeeter is interested in a career as a writer. Her first job is as a "homemaker hints" columnist in the local paper, and she asks Aibileen for her help in answering domestic questions. Skeeter becomes uncomfortable with the attitude her friends have towards their "help", especially Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her "Home Help Sanitation Initiative", a proposed bill to provide for separate bathrooms for black help. Amidst the era of discrimination based on color, Skeeter is one of the few who believe otherwise, and she decides to write a book, The Help, based on the lives of the maids who have spent their entire life taking care of white children.
The maids are at first reluctant to talk to Skeeter, because they are afraid that they will lose their jobs or worse. Aibileen is the first to share her stories after she overhears Hilly's initiative and realizes that the children that she is raising are growing up to be just like their parents. Her friend, Minny, has just been fired as Hilly's maid and has gone to work for a wealthy social outcast, Celia Foote. Minny initially declines to participate but later agrees to share her stories as well.
Skeeter writes a draft of the story with Minny and Aibileen's stories in it and sends it to Miss Stein, an editor in New York, who thinks there may be some interest in it, but requires at least a dozen more maids' contributions before it can become a viable book. Believing that the book will only be publishable during the Civil Rights movement, which she likewise believes is a passing fad, Stein advises Skeeter to finish the book soon. No one comes forward until after Medgar Evers is assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi – with racial tensions running high, the maids realize that Skeeter's book will give them an opportunity for their voices to be heard, and Skeeter suddenly has numerous stories to include. Minny shares one last story with Skeeter and Aibilene, which she calls the "Terrible Awful", to ensure that no one will think that the book was written about Jackson, Mississippi. As revenge for firing her and accusing her of stealing, Minny bakes a chocolate pie and delivers it to Hilly. After finishing two slices, Minny informs Hilly that she has baked her own feces into the pie. Minny tells Aibilene and Skeeter that by adding that part into the book, Hilly will try to prevent anyone from figuring out that she ate human feces and will convince the town that the book must be about some other town.
The book is accepted for publication and is a success, much to the delight of Skeeter and the maids. She shares her royalties with each of the maids who contributed, and is offered a job with a publishing company in New York.
These three stories intertwine to explain how life in early-1960s Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet despite the intimate quarters in which whites and blacks live, there is always a certain distance between them because of racial lines.

A 1960s-era Mississippi debutante sends her community into an uproar by conducting a series of probing interviews with the black servants behind some of her community's most prominent families. Skeeter (Emma Stone) has just graduated from college, and she's eager to launch her career as a writer. In a moment of inspiration, Skeeter decides to focus her attention on the black female servants who work in her community. Her first subject is Aibileen (Viola Davis), the devoted housekeeper who has been employed by Skeeter's best friend's family for years. By speaking with Aibileen, Skeeter becomes an object of scorn to the wealthy locals, who view her actions as directly challenging to the established social order. Before long, even more servants are coming forward to tell their stories, and Skeeter discovers that friendship can blossom under the most unlikely of circumstances. Bryce Dallas Howard co-stars in a touching tale of race relations based on author Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel of the same name.
Release Date: 08/10/2011
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2 hr 17 mins
Genre: Drama
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia L. Spencer

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