by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
The Help is about a young female journalist in the south who decides to write about life from the perspective of the black women in her town who have been serving southern society families for years; never realizing how this will turn her town and her life upside down.
Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns to her hometown and to the southern society she was raised in determined to make a name for herself as a journalist instead of becoming another spoiled southern society wife like her friends. Her love for the woman that truly raised her, and frustration over the way her and others like her are treated, gives her the idea to write about life from their perspective. Two of those women face their fears and help her, even though it could endanger their lives and is actually against the law in their state of Mississippi. The three women form an unexpected and shocking (by the standards of the time and those around them) friendship.
This movie not only shows Skeeter’s side of things, but also that of those two women—Abileen (Viola Davis) and Minny (Octavia Spencer). In the midst of a country facing outcries for desperately needed change for black people, we see a small town facing the challenges and terror that ensues with beatings, killings, and black people being treated horribly, and the courage of those that stand up against it—both black and white. To look back at these atrocities just boggles the mind—to think that people once thought it was okay to treat people like that. It also shows the incredible power of the pen and how a writer can truly help change the world.
If this movie does not receive Oscar nominations then something is desperately wrong. Not only was the acting phenomenal, but the story was one of the most moving, inspiring and powerful stories I have seen in a long time. I seldom cry at movies, but I was pretty close to tears many times in this one. As a writer, it inspires me to make a difference with my pen and reminds me why I am a writer.
There are a lot of interesting and great side stories as well and even a little fun and comedy—I love everything about this movie, except for the fact that this really is the way things were back then. The Help is filled with courage, love and inspiration and is a good, and probably much needed, reminder of how things were and must never be again.
If you’re looking for a movie that makes you laugh, cry, smile, cheer and want to run out and do something that matters in the world—then The Help is for you.
The Help is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.