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The Help (2011) Movie Review

August 12, 2011

The world has always had its share of ignorant people.  Someone in “The Help” said “Sometimes courage skips a generation.”  I think more accurately it should be said, “Sometimes wisdom and human decency skip a generation.”  Thankfully, the same can not be said about Skeeter (Emma Stone).

In a world where rich white families are cared for by loving African-American women, Skeeter recognizes the love and compassion present in the maids that is missing from the racist white women who employ them.  This is strikingly displayed through the relationship of one of the maids to the children she is raising.  She forms a deep human bond based on love that the white mother is utterly incapable of sharing with anyone.

Skeeter is an aspiring writer who realizes how poorly the white mothers treat their black maids.  Things are further exacerbated when one of the mothers suggests a law that would require the maids to use separate bathrooms.  Skeeter decides to write a book from the perspective of the maids to share their stories and feelings.  In the process, she brings down the wrath of all the housewives around her.  However, no matter how strong the struggles, Skeeter pushes through because she believes that what she is doing is right.

Thomas Newman wrote the soundtrack for “The Help” and it provides his usual sonic wallpaper approach that blends with the picture beautifully.  The music makes perfect use of acoustic guitar, strings, and piano to accentuate the emotions of each scene.  The score is assisted by frequent use of songs from the 60s, which help give it the feeling of the times.

“The Help” is a powerful emotional journey.  Just as Skeeter’s book tells the stories of the black maids’ struggles, so too the film chronicles their endeavors.  There are moments in the film when the audience can’t help but react with shock and loud laughter.  These moments were greatly enhanced by having a fairly decent crowd in the theater when I watched it.  In order to obtain the full effect of scandalized outcries of middle-aged women, I suggest you watch the film within the first two weeks.  You will not be disappointed.

5/5

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From → Drama, Historical

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