Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Help 2011

I finally caught up with this movie, and it was worse than I was expecting. Now I know that’s saying a lot, but it was. This is a not so good feel good chick flick movie that takes place in a fairy land South, where all the terrible things that went on there in the 60’s is glossy, clean and cute. Full of clunky cardboard characters both black and white and filmed in a television movie of the week style, in fact I kept expecting commercials.  The movie is about a young liberal woman played by Emma Stone who gets the idea to interview as many “colored” maids that she can in order to expose the discrimination and terrible treatment that they endure day in and day out. The cast is decent.  Viola Davis is always wonderful to watch but she can do this sort of role blind folded, Jessica Chastain who seems to be in every other film this year, is acceptable in the clichéd role of the sexy outcast, lovable but stupid, kind but vulgar, and of course the Oscar winner from this stew Octavia Spencer who is the feisty maid with questionable cooking habits. Cast as the villainess of the piece and forced to carry the burden of the segregated south on her tiny shoulders is Bryce Dallas Howard who if we buy this movie was the only racist in Mississippi. All of the animosity the audience feels is thrown at her. Even her moma played by Sissy Spacek dislikes her.  Very popular and a huge money maker with the cineplex  hoards, I was curious what older African American women thought and asked several of my senior art students (all African American women) their opinions they all liked or loved it. The same opinions were also voiced by several of my non-African American women students. Go figure.


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