13 November, 2011
I recently went to see The Help, an adaptation of the bestselling book by Kathryn Stockett. Having read the book I was excited to see the film, but a bit dubious of how it would translate to the big screen. The book is based in Jackson, Mississippi, before the Civil Rights Movement when white families employed black women as nannies and housekeepers, and racism was, for most, a completely normal and acceptable way of life. The book is told through the voices of Aibileen and Minny - the Help and 'Skeeter' - a young white girl who secretly defies the racist attitudes of her town, and with Aibileen and Minny's help writes an anonymous book, telling all about the terrible way black people are treated in Jackson by the women who employ them.
The film, starring Emma Stone, as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny, with Jessica Chastain as Celia and Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly, was fantastic, a well told adaptation of the book. It wasn't sugar coated at all, which I thought it might be, and each of the characters was very well cast, particularly Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly who does evil fantastically, and Emma Stone as Skeeter.
I don't think the film has been promoted particularly well which is a shame, as I think it is a very important time in American history, told from the point of view of the Black women living through it, so I would definitely recommend catching it in the cinema if you can!