Despite what you may have heard, change does not begin with an action. It begins with an idea.
Of course, action must follow, and in “The Help,” (directed by Tate Taylor and based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett) it most certainly does.
Set in Jackson, Mississippi; in the early 1960s, change is in the air when Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) a recent college grad returns home.
Skeeter is looking for a job, dealing with her mothers illness and expectations, not to mention the unapproving opinions of her piers. It’s a lot to deal with, and along the way she discovers a story.
Abileen’s story (Viola Davis), a black woman working for a white family in the South, is not unique. In the early 1960s, her story is the same as nearly every other woman of her color living in the South. Which is why her decision to share it with Skeeter is so brave.
Like so many others, Abileen spent her life raising other people’s children. Her tale is heartbreaking, and made all the more moving by Viola Davis’ touching performance.
When Skeeter first approaches Abileen about telling her story, she is cautious; however, both of their expecations for the project are blown out of the water when the feisty Minny (Octavia Spencer), one of Abileen’s friends, decides to share her experience too.
From there, a phenomenon begins, and Skeeter’s original idea starts to become action, and even change.
With the help of a phenomenal cast, this film not only surprises, it astounds. There’s a reason three (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain) of the 10 available nominations for actresses belong to the ladies of “The Help.”
This may not be the flashiest or most ground breaking of this years Oscar nominees, but it gets its point across, and entertains in the process. Simply put, it’s sweet, smart and funny.
“The Help” is not a story we haven’t heard before, but it is one we need to be retold again and again.
…just for fun: