Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett last year and enjoyed it very much. I heard that they were making the story into a film, and was underwhelmed with the idea, because “the movie is never as good as the book”. Right? Well, I went to see the movie last night and am very happy to report that it is fantastic!
If you haven’t read the book and are not familiar with the story, it is set in Jackson, Mississippi at the beginning of the civil rights movement. Skeeter, a southern society girl, returns from college determined to become a writer. She sets out to write a book based on interviews of black women who have spent their lives as maids caring for well-to-do white families. Skeeter gains the confidence of several women and persuades them to open up about their true feelings toward the women who employ them. Not an easy decision when you consider the risks involved should they be caught breaking the Jim Crow Laws.
The casting was perfect—everyone was exactly as I'd pictured them in my head, and the actresses did an amazing job portraying their characters. I was especially enamored with the performances of Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer. You go through so many emotions watching this film (and reading the book): I was so angry and then I was crying and then I was laughing—I truly enjoyed every minute of it. So, go see it!
On a similar note, check out this Lost Angeles Times article on current-day Jackson. Sadly, some things still haven't changed …