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There are male viewers who will enjoyThe Help, but Mississippi native Tate Taylor aims his adaptation squarely at the female readers who made Kathryn Stockett's novel a bestseller. If the multi-character narrative revolves around race relations in the Kennedy-era South, the perspective belongs to the women. Veteran maid Aibileen (Doubt's Viola Davis in an Oscar-worthy performance) provides the heartfelt narration that brackets the story. A widow devastated by the death of her son, she takes pride in the 17 children she has helped to raise, but she's hardly fulfilled. That changes when Skeeter (Easy A's Emma Stone) returns home after college. Unlike her peers, Skeeter wants to work, so she gets a job as a newspaper columnist. But she really longs to write about Jackson's domestics, so she meets with Aibileen in secret--after much cajoling and the promise of anonymity. When Aibileen's smart-mouthed friend Minny (breakout star Octavia Spencer) breaches her uptight employer's protocol, Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) gives her the boot, and she ends up in the employ of local outcast Celia (Jessica Chastain, hilarious and heartbreaking), who can't catch a break due to her dirt-poor origins. After the murder of Medgar Evers, even more maids, Minny among them, bring their stories to Skeeter, leading to a book that scandalizes the town--in a good way. Not sinceSteel Magnoliashas Hollywood produced a Southern woman's picture more likely to produce buckets of tears (and almost as many laughs).--Kathleen C. Fennessy
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CastBryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone
DirectorTate Taylor
DVD Release Date:  December 6, 2011
Runtime:  137 minutes
Studio:  Walt Disney Studios
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review by . August 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Despite some heart-tugging/over-the-top stereotypes to which some may object as disrespectful to the Civil Rights theme, director Tate Taylor of "The Help," based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett (The Help (Movie Tie-In)), creates a faithful rendition of the story's tone--depicting the sometimes uneasy coalition between the white and black communities of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60s as epitomized by the voices of three distinct personalities: Skeeter, a young white graduate from Ole Miss …
The Help (2011)
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