Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Help

UK Release: 26th October 2011
Watched on DVD: Sunday 7th August 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 2hrs 26mins
Tagline: Change begins with a whisper.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times.

My Review: I wasn’t surprised when I broke down in tears at the end of this film. I had been warned. The critical acclaim, the Oscars, the friend recommendations... and still it felt more personal than just the Hollywood machine chugging away. It was part of the process, the commitment to the two and a half hour story. If I wasn’t even a little moved I’d be annoyed! And yet the emotions felt genuine, many of the heartbreaking moments for both the maids and the housewives were subtle, gradual or off-screen. 
Of course as this film is titled ‘The Help’ the film focuses mostly on them and their plight - but I really did feel for Jessica Chastain’s character as she tried her upmost to fit in and be accepted by the other housewives. And of course Emma Stone as Skeeter was the most gratifying of them all. She proves once again what a treasure she is becoming and holds up the weight of the film effortlessly with the right about of klutzy grace that only Stone can naturally do so well.
I won’t go into the story now as it is long and you’ll probably know it. All I can say is it does live up to the hype. The cinematography is wonderful, the costumes and sets set the scene perfectly and it is just beautiful to watch. I would whole-heartedly recommend it! 

Score: 9/10

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