Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Help

I recently watched The Help on DVD and really liked it. It takes place during the civil rights movement and is about a young white journalist who decides to write a book which gives an account of the many black women who worked as maids in the South in the 60's.

At first many of these women were reluctant to share their experiences for fear potential backlash if their employers and others in the community found out who they were and what they had said about the families they worked for. Eventually they get to a tipping point where many of them were willing to come forward and have the courage to share their experiences so the book could be published.

I thought all of the performances were good, but Bryce Dallas Howard really did a good job of being an insensitive, racist, and shallow Southern belle. I watched this movie with some of my kids and they were in total disbelief that people treated each other that way and they asked me if segregation was real. I told them it was not only real, but the events in the film took place only 45 years ago.

One thing I liked about this movie is that it didn't paint all white people as being villains, nor did it make one or two good white people saviors to the black community. The film also focuses on a white woman who is not accepted by her upper class peers and shows how she experienced much of the same rejection and belittlement by those who felt they were superior to her.

I give The Help 7.9 stars. Some people might feel it is a sugar coated Disney movie since it is not as dark and gritty as many civil rights movies, but I think it was still quite good. It deals with a serious topic but there are several light hearted moments so it wasn't too intense and it was also less of a chick flick than I expected it to be!

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