“The Help” Movie Review

‘The Help’, adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 bestseller, is a story of friendship, rivalry and racial injustice set against the backdrop of one of the ugliest periods in American history.

Set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, in the midst of the civil rights movement, ‘The Help’ is story of Aibileen and Minny, two African-American women who have worked as maids in white households their entire lives, and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a white woman whose moral compass starts spinning after her friends strike up an initiative to build outdoor bathrooms for “the help.”

Just out of college and itching to pursue a career in journalism, Skeeter pitches an idea to a publishing house in New York for a book told from the perspective of Southern black women who spend their lives raising white babies only to have those babies grow up and become their new employers — and, in many cases, tormentors. After getting the go-ahead, Skeeter convinces Aibileen and Minny to meet with her in secret to document their stories in the hopes of getting their voices heard, despite the considerable dangers to their safety and livelihoods.

The movie stays true to the events and characters in the book. While some things have been moved around and some of the finer details are left out this did not detract from the movie.

Even if you have read the book (who hasn’t?) you will sit with a lump in your throat that will end up as tears running down your face. You will find little fault with the adaptation. The characters are strong and compelling, with stand out performances from Viola Davis (we have seen her in ‘Doubt’) and hilarious one liners from Sissy Spacek. If you haven’t read the book, you will rush out and buy it, the movie is a perfect prelude.

By Anna Lehmann, SheSaid Lifestyle Editor