I saw the movie last Wednesday and, at the end, I also just sat there for a long time. Now here it is, five days later, and it is still fresh in my mind. In my opinion, it’s a powerful story. It’s a part of our cultural history that should not be forgotten.
For those of you not familiar with the story, let me give you a quick synopsis. The term “help” refers to the black maids working for white women in Jackson, Mississippi in the sixties. A young white woman, Skeeter, returns home from college and begins to notice how poorly the black “help” are being treated. Skeeter wants to write about it. She partners up with first Aibileen and then Minny to tell their story. This was a very risky move at the time. The women are very careful to keep it secret. Gradually they enlist more black maids and the book is finally published.
The movie was superbly produced, written, and acted. I could tell they were trying to keep in tact the spirit of Kathryn Stockett’s book. There were only a few things from the book that were left out of the movie. They were minor and didn’t interrupt the story at all. I felt like the movie enhanced the book in that I could visually see the town, the houses, the cars, home interiors, clothing and hair styles. In addition, the dialog was spot-on. I was transported back to the sixties.
While reading the book, I loved the four main characters of Skeeter, Hilly, Aibileen, and Minny. Getting those characters right in the movie would be the breaking point for me. The actresses did not disappoint at all. In fact, they completely understood the characters and made them even better.
I also liked seeing some of my old favorites: Allison Janney, Cicely Tyson and Sissy Spacek.
Whenever I see that a movie is going to be made from a favorite book, I worry about it. Is it going to be as good as the book or will it disappoint? Often the movie doesn’t live up to the high standards of the book. But when it comes to The Help I’m happy to say that for this reader and movie-goer, it was E for Excellent. I give it a solid thumbs up. Have you seen it? What did you think?
*Photo credits: All photos from Internet Movie Data Base