The Help (2011) Poster

The Help (2011)

  • Rate: 8.0/10 total 71,452 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 10 August 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:146 min
Our Score
273 user reviews.

User Score (vote now)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

You're here : » » The Help (2011)...

Warning: simplexml_load_file( failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

Warning: simplexml_load_file(): I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

The Help (2011)


The Help 2011tt1454029.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Help (2011)
  • Rate: 8.0/10 total 71,452 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 10 August 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:146 min
  • Filming Location: Greenwood, Mississippi, USA
  • Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $169,705,587(USA)(4 March 2012)
  • Director: Tate Taylor
  • Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer
  • Original Music By: Thomas Newman   
  • Soundtrack: Let's Twist Again
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (as Datasat Digital Sound)
  • Plot Keyword: Friend | Friendship | 1960s | Mississippi | Maid

Writing Credits By:

  • Tate Taylor (screenplay)
  • Kathryn Stockett (novel)

Known Trivia

  • Melissa Molinaro auditioned for the role of Celia Foote.
  • Costars Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard have both played Gwen Stacy in a Spider-Man movie.
  • The book store in the film, Avent & Clark Booksellers, was named after Avent Clark, a production assistant on the film from Greenwood, MS.
  • Jessica Chastain, a vegan, ate soy ice cream melted in the microwave to gain weight for the role of Celia Foote.
  • Kathryn Stockett’s book on which this film is based was rejected 60 times before it was eventually published.
  • Hilly’s house is actually a residential property and the featured cream couch was already part of it.
  • The painting above Celia’s fireplace was found in the basement of a hospital, while the two armchairs from that scene were found in a second-hand store.
  • Allison Janney and Brian Kerwin are married in this film. In The West Wing Janney’s character dated a park ranger played by Kerwin.
  • Skeeter’s bookshelf contains the following books: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. All three of these books are discussed many times in the original novel.
  • Director Tate Taylor and the author of the book, Kathryn Stockett, were childhood friends in Jackson, Mississippi.

Goofs: Incorrectly regarded as goofs: At the fund raiser, Celia rips some of Miss Hilly's dress off. Later when Miss Hilly is outside with her mother, it appears to be fixed again. However, upon closer inspection, the sleeve is clearly pushed up against the rest of the dress to make the damage less conspicuous – a gap can be seen where her skin is showing through.

Plot: An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. Full summary »  »

Story: Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times.Written by Walt Disney Pictures  


Synopsis: In Civil Rights-era Jackson, Mississippi, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) returns home after graduation from Ole Miss and takes a job at the local newspaper. She is assigned to write a column on housecleaning and, because she has never had to do much housework, she asks Aibileen (Viola Davis), the maid of her neighbor and friend, Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O’Reilly), for assistance. Aibileen is the de facto mother in the life of Elizabeth’s daughter, Mae Mobley (Eleanor and Emma Henry), as Elizabeth is frigid and non-maternal.

Skeeter is unhappy to learn that Constantine (Cicely Tyson), the maid who raised her from a child, apparently quit while Skeeter was away at college. (She can tell there’s more to the story, but no one will tell her what really happened.) Disturbed at the sudden loss and at how Elizabeth and local socialite Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) treat their own maids with racist condescension, Skeeter conceives a writing project: a book about the lives of Jackson’s maids. She describes the project to Elaine Stein (Mary Steenburgen), an editor she knows in New York, and receives lukewarm encouragement. Then Skeeter approaches Aibeleen about the book, but Aibileen declines to be interviewed.

Hilly’s maid, Minny (Octavia Spencer), deliberately disobeys Hilly’s order not to use the family’s bathroom despite the fact that a violent thunderstorm rages outside, making a trip to the outhouse dangerous. Hilly fires her over the objections of her own mother (Sissy Spacek). In retaliation, Minny bakes a chocolate pie and takes it to Hilly in a fake act of contrition; along with the chocolate, she has baked her own feces into the pie. Hilly eats two slices before Minny reveals the truth. Later that night, Minny’s commonlaw husband, Leroy, beats her while Aibileen listens on the phone. At church the next day, Aibileen hears the preacher deliver a sermon about courage and resolves to help Skeeter with her book.

Minny goes to work for Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain), the wife of Hilly’s former boyfriend. Celia has been ostracized by the local chapter of the Junior League (an upscale women’s club that raises funds for charities), led by Hilly, and is generally ill at ease with the social rules in Jackson. Over Minny’s objections, Celia insists on eating with her in the kitchen. Celia pays Minny under the table because she doesn’t want her husband to know that she doesn’t have domestic skills. Although she is generally suspicious of white people, Minny finds herself becoming more comfortable around Celia, particularly after Celia miscarries.

Aibileen recruits Minny into the book project, but Skeeter’s editor in New York (who’s warming to the project) insists the book will need more at least a dozen voices — including the story of Skeeter’s own relationship with Constantine. After Hilly has her new maid arrested for petty theft, many other maids in the community agree to be interviewed for the book. Though she has changed the names of everyone involved, Skeeter remains concerned that people will recognize who the maids are and create more trouble for the African American community in the wake of the murder of Medgar Evars. Minny insists that they include the story about Hilly and the chocolate pie as insurance; Hilly will not want anyone to know the truth and will do all she can to convince everyone that the book isn’t about Jackson. Skeeter eventually pries the story of Constantine’s departure out of her mother, Charlotte (Alison Janney): Charlotte fired Constantine because Constantine’s daughter Rachel refused to use the back door and embarrassed Charlotte during an important luncheon. She thought better of it and tried to get Constantine to come back, going so far as to send her son to Constantine’s new home in Chicago, but by the time Skeeter’s brother finds her, Constantine has died.

The book is published anonymously but soon everyone in Jackson is reading it. Skeeter splits the advance she received evenly among all of the maids, and is offered a job at the publishing house in New York. She is disinclined to take it, but Aibileen and Minny insist that she must. Celia works hard to prepare a lavish meal for Minny in gratitude for all she has done. Celia’s husband, who has known all along that Minny was working for Celia, tells Minny she will have a job with them for as long as she wants it. Inspired, Minny leaves Leroy, taking their children with her. Hilly, claiming that Aibileen has stolen some silverware, browbeats Elizabeth into firing Aibileen. As she walks away from the Leefolt home, Aibileen resolves to be a writer.


Set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, Eugenia Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) is writing The Help on the top of a paper. She asks a black woman named Aibileen (Viola Davis) about her birthplace, and how many white babies shes raised. Skeeter asks what its like to raise a white baby while her own baby was at home being watched by someone else. At this point we begin a flashback in Aibileen’s head.

Aibileen (in a voice-over) begins to describe her employers, the Leefolts. They have a 3-year-old daughter named Mae Mobley. The shallow and non-maternal Elizabeth Leefolt does not know how to love her daughter so Aibileen is the one who basically raises her. Every day Aibileen tells her: You is kind. You is smart. You is important. Aibeleen gets Mae Mobley to go on the toilet. Elizabeth yanks Mae Mobley off without noticing, because she has a bridge club coming to her house. Aibileen looks sad for Mae Mobley.

Cut to Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), her mother, and her black maid Minny (Octavia Spencer) leaving their house to go to bridge club. Minny is holding a chocolate pie.

Skeeter arrives at the office of the Jackson Journal for a job interview. She shows a reference from Elaine Stein, and editor at Harper and Row in New York, which her interviewer points out is a rejection letter. Skeeter points out that Stein wrote that Skeeter has promise and should get some experience and apply again. Skeeter is hired by the Jackson Journal to write the Miss Myrna housekeeping column.

Skeeter drives into bridge club and hugs her friends Hilly and Elizabeth. They welcome her back – she has just graduated from the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"). Aibileen fields a call from a Miss Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain) who wants to help with the benefit. Hilly and Elizabeth laugh at her, she is obviously very tacky. Celia asks Aibileen if she knows of any maid who’s looking for work. Aibileen says no. The girls play bridge and Hilly looks uncomfortable. Elizabeth tells her she can go to the bathroom. Hilly refuses to use a toilet that Aibileen may have sat on. Hilly talks about the bill she is proposing: the Home Health Sanitation Initiative. This is a bill that would require white homes to have a separate toilet for the Negro help. This entire conversation is conducted within earshot of Aibileen. Skeeter asks Elizabeth if Aibileen could help her with the Miss Myrna columns. Elizabeth says as long as it doesn’t interfere with Aibileen’s chores. Skeeter asks Aibileen for help with the column. Aibeleen asks her why Skeeter can’t ask her own maid, Constantine, for help. Skeeter looks said as she tells Aibeleen that Constantine quit on them. She then asks Aibileen if Aibileen wishes she could change things. Aibeleen looks away.

Skeeter goes home and sees her mother (Alison Janey) trying on a dress. She gets Skeeter to try it on and bugs her about still being single. Skeeter mentions the job she got. Her mother says she’ll never get married. Her mother asks her if shes had any unnatural thoughts about women and liking women; she’s heard of an herbal remedy than can cure such "unnatural" urges. Skeeter is horrified.

Skeeter is at dinner that night and she makes a rude remark about liking girls. Her mother excuses herself from the table because Skeeter has upset her cancerous ulcer. Skeeter runs to a small bench they have out front and remembers when Constantine comforted her for not getting asked to a dance. Skeeter desperately misses Constantine and does not know where she went.

We see Skeeter asking Aibileen Miss Myrna questions as the sky darkens. Elizabeth and her husband argue over the fact that Elizabeth has spent a lot of money building a Negro bathroom on Hilly’s advice. Elizabeth asks that Skeeter no longer talk to Aibeleen. Skeeter sees the way the Leefolts are treating Aibileen. She misses Constantine. And in that she has an idea.

Skeeter calls Elaine Stein and tells her that she wants to write a book about the help. Elaine Stein argues that no maid will agree to be interviewed. Skeeter lies and says she already has a maid lined up. Elaine Stein says she will look at whatever Skeeter writes.

At Hilly’s house it is storming like crazy. The power has gone out. Minny looks uncomfortable and Hilly’s mother says she can use the inside bathroom. Hilly says most certainly not. Minny excuses herself to go make tea. She uses the bathroom and Hilly fires her. Hilly sends her out into the rain. Aibileen narrates that 18 people lost their lives in the tornado that Hilly sent Minny into; 8 were black and 10 were white. When God sends a tornado he is colorblind.

Skeeter meets Aibileen at the bus stop. She asks Aibileen to contribute to her book. Aibileen says she does not want to talk to Skeeter about this stuff anymore. Skeeter gives Aibileen her number in case she changes her mind. Aibileen sees Minny get off the bus with a chocolate pie. Minny refuses to tell her where she is going.

That night Aibileen gets a phone call from Minny. Minny is sobbing that Hilly fired her and she did a terrible awful. Then we hear Minny’s husband Leroy get home and begin to hit her while Minny screams. Aibileen looks at Skeeter’s number while she hangs up.

Aibileen uses the new Negro bathroom at the Leefolts. Elizabeth asks Aibileen, "Isn’t this better?" Aibeleen says yes (not meaning it.) Elizabeth ignores Mae Mobley again.

Aibileen is at church and hears a sermon about how sometimes courage means speaking out.

Skeeter drives to Aibileen’s house. Aibileen rushes her inside, making sure no one sees her. Aibileen is ready to be interviewed; Skeeter asked what changed her mind. Aibileen answers God and Miss Hilly Holbrook.

We are now back where the movie started. Skeeter asks Aibileen if the picture on her wall is her son. Aibileen says ‘yes’ and looks extremely sad.

Minny meanwhile gets a job at Miss Celia Foote’s mansion. Celia is pregnant and does not want her husband to know she is bringing in help. Minny agrees to help Celia without telling Celia’s husband. Minny has to teach Celia how to cook because Celia is terrible at it.

Meanwhile at Hilly’s, there is a new black maid, Yule Mae (Aunjanue Ellis). The maid asks Hilly and her husband for a loan of $75 because she has twin sons she is sending to college. She is $75 short on one of the tuitions and is going to have to choose which son can go to college. She offers to work for free until the load is paid off. Hilly says she is going to do the Christian thing and refuse her because God does not give charity to those who are well and able.

Hilly and Elizabeth set Skeeter up on a date when they are eating at a restaurant. (Skeeter is the only one to thank the black waiter for their food.)

Skeeter’s mother, Charlotte (Alison Janney) makes Skeeter’s hair look really nice in preparation for the date. When she gets there her date, Stuart is already drunk. She storms out after he jokes that she just got a degree to win a husband.

Minny storms in on Skeeter interviewing Aibileen. She tells them she thinks they are both crazy. Minny leaves and then comes back, saying she just wanted them to know how dangerous what they are doing is but she wants to help. Skeeter interviews Minny about being an often fired black maid.

Yule Mae is vacuuming Hilly’s living room when she sees a small ring on the floor. She pockets it.

There is another bridge club and Elizabeth’s. Celia comes to the door and all the women hide but it is very obvious to Celia that they are hiding from her.

Skeeter goes to talk to Hilly’s maid and ask her if she will agree to be interviewed. She refuses. Hilly storms in on them and accuses the maid of asking Skeeter for money. Skeeter defends the maid. Hilly sees a pamphlet of laws about blacks and whites in Skeeters bag (Skeeter has been carrying it for research for her book). Hilly warns Skeeter that there are some real racists in their town and Skeeter should be careful.

During a Junior League meeting, Hilly, the president, asks Skeeter why her proposed law about blacks and whites needing separate toilets hasn’t gotten into the newsletter yet. Skeeter says she will put it in "real soon."

Skeeter sends her interviews with Aibileen and Minny to Elaine Stein. Elaine says she’ll need at least 12 interviews if she wants it published. All the maids in town (aside from Minny and Aibileen) have refused to participate; Skeeter does not know what to do.

While Aibileen is talking to Hilly’s maid Yule Mae at the bus stop, Yule Mae is arrested for stealing Hilly’s ring. Now neither of her sons will go to college.

Skeeter is eating at the restaurant when the waiter tells her she needs to go to Aibileen’s. Skeeter runs over and in Aibileen’s house are 10 or 20 maids waiting to share their stories. They’re angry that about the arrest of Hilly’s maid. Skeeter begins to interview them.

Minny comes looking for Celia and Celia calls to her to leave from behind the locked bathroom door. Minny breaks into the bathroom and sees Celia on the floor surrounded by blood. She has miscarried. Minny puts her to bed and Celia tells her this is her fourth miscarriage. Her husband only knew about the first one. They got married because she was pregnant.

Skeeter puts Hilly’s new law in the newsletter, as well as a note about a charity coat drive; donors are asked to bring old coats to Hilly’s house. Skeeter gets an idea to change it from coats to something else.

The next day Elizabeth gets a call and rushes herself, Mae Mobley, and Aibileen to Hilly’s house. Hilly is screaming I told her to write coats! Not Commodes! and on Hilly’s lawn there are about 40 toilets. Hilly is in hysterics. Mae Mobley sits on one of the toilets and goes. Elizabeth slaps her till she sobs. Later Aibileen holds her and whispers, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

Stuart goes to Skeeter’s house and apologizes to her for his behavior. They begin to date and actually enjoy each other’s company.

Minny is walking to Celia’s when her husband pulls up. Minny begins to run, and Celia’s husband says not to worry, he’s known about her for a long time. He wishes the women in town would accept Celia. He thanks Minny for being there for Celia and says he knows about the three lost babies.

Celia continues to wonder why no one will accept her. She figures it was because she got pregnant right after Hilly broke up with Johnny, who was Celia’s baby daddy. Celia assumes that Hilly thinks she was cheating with Johnny but really she wasn’t. Celia decides to prove her innocence to Hilly at the banquet that is coming up.

Skeeter has finished her book. Aibileen and Minny are worried that people will figure out that it’s about Jackson. Minny says she has some insurance in the form of her terrible awful. If they put the terrible awful in the book than they will be protected from people realizing that it is Jackson.

Minny tells the story of her terrible awful. She brought the chocolate pie to Hilly on the day that Aibileen saw her. Minny acts like the pie is a peace offering. Hilly eats two slices and Hilly’s mother wants a slice. Minny says no and Hilly asks why her mother can’t have a slice. Minny replies "Eat my shit!" Hilly asks if Minny’s lost her mind, and Minny replies, "No, ma’am but you is about to. ‘Cause you just did." Minny baked her shit into the pie and Hilly had two slices. Hilly’s mother laughs and laughs.

Minny says if they put that in the book Hilly will make sure no one knows it was actually her "who ate Minny’s shit." Skeeter and Aibileen agree.

It is the night of the benefit. Celia is there looking trashy as anything. She gets very drunk. Hilly is leading the event. The auction begins and Hilly wins Minny’s chocolate pie. She looks appalled. Celia congratulates her and Hilly screams at her for entering Hilly’s name for the pie. Celia accidently rips Hilly’s dress. Hilly tells Celia she will never be accepted. Celia flees and throws up on her way out. On Hilly’s way out her mother says she entered for her to win the pie because she will never forget the look on Hilly’s face when she realized she was eating Minny’s shit.

The next day Minny tells Celia her terrible awful to make her feel better. This also helps Celia realize why Hilly was mad at her at the banquet; Hilly thought Celia had put her name in.

Skeeter is nearly finished with her book. She needs one more story: her own. Skeeter goes to her mother and insists on knowing where Constantine went. Skeeter’s mother tells her that she had just been honored by the DAR. Constantine’s daughter Rachel stormed in and the DAR ladies insisted she throw both Rachel and Constantine out. The next day Skeeter’s mother tried to get Constantine back but she had already moved to Chicago. Constantine died two weeks later. Skeeter accuses her mother of breaking Constantine’s heart.

Skeeter gets her book published: only a few copies. Within a few days it is a sensation in Jackson, MS. Stuart breaks up with Skeeter when he finds out it was she who wrote the book. Everyone wants to know: is this place Jackson or not? Hilly is adamant that it is not (she can’t let anyone find out about the pie).

Celia sends Hilly a check for the dress, making it out to Two Slice Hilly. Hilly screams and tears it into pieces.

Minny goes to Celia’s to find a delicious meal waiting for her. Celia cooked it all herself. Celia and her husband Johnny say that Minny will always have a job with them. From that meal Minny gets the strength to leave her abusive husband.

Minny and Aibeleen go to church where the entire congregation has signed copies of The Help for Aibileen and Minny, because they can’t sign their own names.

Aibileen and Minny show Skeeter a signed copy. Skeeter mentions she got a job in New York but she can’t take it, not with all the drama she started with writing The Help. Aibeleen and Minny insist she go.

Hilly is furious at Skeeter and she storms over to Skeeter’s house in a drunken fury, as she has figured out that Skeeter is the author. She threatens to tell Skeeter’s mother and Skeeter’s mother kicks Hilly off her property after insulting her. Skeeter’s mother says Skeeter should take the job in New York. Skeeter does.

Aibileen goes to Elizabeth’s, where Hilly and Elizabeth are waiting. Hilly insists Elizabeth fire Aibileen (which Elizabeth does not want to do) for stealing silver (which Aibileen did not do). Hilly wants to report Aibileen to the police and Aibileen says if that happens she will tell everyone Hilly’s secret. Hilly is trapped. Elizabeth fires Aibileen and Aibileen leaves, knowing this was her last job. Before she goes she asks Mae Mobley to repeat what Aibileen has taught her, and Mae Mobley says, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." Aibeleen realizes that now she can write about how she has been treated.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei known as executive producer
  • Michael Barnathan known as producer
  • Nate Berkus known as executive producer
  • Jennifer Blum known as executive producer
  • Chris Columbus known as producer
  • Brunson Green known as producer
  • L. Dean Jones Jr. known as executive producer
  • Sonya Lunsford known as co-producer
  • John Norris known as executive producer
  • Mark Radcliffe known as executive producer
  • Jeff Skoll known as executive producer
  • Tate Taylor known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Emma Stone known as Skeeter Phelan
  • Viola Davis known as Aibileen Clark
  • Bryce Dallas Howard known as Hilly Holbrook
  • Octavia Spencer known as Minny Jackson
  • Jessica Chastain known as Celia Foote
  • Ahna O'Reilly known as Elizabeth Leefolt
  • Allison Janney known as Charlotte Phelan
  • Anna Camp known as Jolene French
  • Eleanor Henry known as Mae Mobley
  • Emma Henry known as Mae Mobley
  • Chris Lowell known as Stuart Whitworth
  • Cicely Tyson known as Constantine Jefferson
  • Mike Vogel known as Johnny Foote
  • Sissy Spacek known as Missus Walters
  • Brian Kerwin known as Robert Phelan
  • Wes Chatham known as Carlton Phelan
  • Aunjanue Ellis known as Yule Mae Davis
  • Ted Welch known as William Holbrook
  • Shane McRae known as Raleigh Leefolt
  • Roslyn Ruff known as Pascagoula
  • Tarra Riggs known as Gretchen
  • Leslie Jordan known as Mr. Blackly
  • Mary Steenburgen known as Elain Stein
  • Tiffany Brouwer known as Rebecca
  • Carol Sutton known as Cora
  • Millicent Bolton known as Callie
  • Ashley Johnson known as Mary Beth Caldwell
  • Ritchie Montgomery known as Bus Driver
  • Don Brock known as White Bus Passenger
  • Florence 'Flo' Roach known as Maid #1
  • Nelsan Ellis known as Henry the Waiter
  • David Oyelowo known as Preacher Green
  • LaChanze known as Rachel
  • Dana Ivey known as Gracie Higginbotham
  • Becky Fly known as Woman in Grocery
  • Sheerene Whitfield known as Maid #2
  • Cleta Elaine Ellington known as Donna the Receptionist (as Cleta E. Ellington)
  • Henry Carpenter known as Jameso
  • John Taylor known as Missus Walters' Date
  • Charles Cooper known as Tire Winner @ Ballroom #1
  • Diana Cooper known as Tire Winner @ Ballroom #
  • Coyt Bailey known as Party Guest #3
  • Wade Cottonfield known as Lead Singer of Band
  • Kelsey Scot known as Sugar Jackson
  • Amy Beckwith known as Bridge Club
  • Sloane Fair known as Bridge Club
  • Anna Jennings known as Bridge Club
  • Lauren Miller known as Bridge Club
  • Elizabeth Smith known as Bridge Club
  • Mary Taylor Killebrew known as Bridge Club
  • Kathryn Ursy known as Bridge Club
  • Stephanie Ward known as Bridge Club
  • Julie Ann Doan known as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
  • Jordan Sudduth known as Restaurant Gallant (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Coni Andress known as hair stylist
  • Deborah Ball known as hair stylist
  • Gloria Belz known as additional makeup artist
  • Melinda Dunn known as hair stylist
  • Camille Friend known as hair department head
  • Vincent Gideon known as hair stylist
  • Jami Hight known as makeup artist
  • Sandy Jo Johnston known as makeup artist
  • Natasha Ladek known as wig maker
  • Denise Paulson known as key makeup artist
  • Roxanne Wightman known as key hair stylist
  • Brad Wilder known as makeup department head
  • Beka Wilson known as hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Sheila Bartlett known as standby camera scenic
  • Troy Borisy known as leadman
  • Campbell Brewer known as set dresser
  • Tony Bridgers known as general foreman
  • Timothy Burgard known as storyboard artist
  • Jeno Dellicolli known as on-set dresser
  • Ken Deubel III known as scenic foreman
  • Karen Frick known as props
  • Robert L. Girard known as gang boss
  • Michael Gowen known as construction buyer
  • Chris Grantz known as set dresser
  • Frank Gray III known as props
  • Steve A. Hagberg known as construction coordinator
  • Adam Henderson known as set dresser
  • Cindy Ichikawa known as art department coordinator
  • Katy Jensen known as set dresser
  • Jerod Johnson known as painter
  • Peggy Johnson known as paint forman
  • Thomas V. Johnson known as lead scenic
  • Joie Todd Kerns known as set dresser
  • Arin Ladish known as buyer
  • Ellen Lampl known as graphic designer
  • Bruce Lehay known as set dresser
  • Matt Lindahl known as set dresser
  • Josh Moceri known as set dresser
  • Eshom Nelms known as storyboard artist
  • Steven Reddington known as set dresser
  • Spencer H. Register known as set dresser
  • MaryNeff Seabergh known as art production assistant
  • Albert Seiler known as props
  • Paul Sonski known as set designer
  • Chris Ubick known as property master
  • Bobby L. Vaughn known as tool man
  • Joe Voda known as foreman




Production Companies:

  • DreamWorks SKG (presents) (as DreamWorks Pictures)
  • Reliance Entertainment (presents)
  • Participant Media (in association with)
  • Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ (in association with) (as Imagenation Abu Dhabi)
  • 1492 Pictures
  • Harbinger Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Liquid Soul Media  marketing and promotion
  • 360 Communication Rentals  walkies and cell phones
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera car
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera cranes
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Digital Media Services (DMS)  digital marketing asset management
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • EFilm  digital intermediate
  • Geffen Records  soundtrack
  • Got Films  camera equipment provided by (world premier)
  • Hollywood Trucks  entertainment transportation
  • Intelligent Media  international monitoring agency
  • Momentous Insurance Brokerage  insurance
  • Prologue Films  titles
  • Road Rebel  production travel
  • Scarlet Letters  end crawl
  • Silver Screen Supply  production supplies
  • Todd-AO Studios  post-production sound services
  • Tomkats Catering  catering
  • Transportation Resources  transportation equipment
  • Varèse Sarabande  score album


  • Touchstone Pictures (2011) (worldwide) (all media) (presents)
  • Feelgood Entertainment (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Forum Cinemas (2011) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Forum Hungary (2011) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2012) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (France) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Italia (2012) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios (2012) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Intercontinental Video (2011) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Intercontinental Video (2011) (Hong Kong) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2011) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Pixel Magic (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Jordan Alphonso known as digital compositor
  • Daniel Brimer known as visual effects producer: Digital Domain
  • Charles Bunnag known as second digital colorist
  • Patrick Clancey known as digital opticals
  • Christine Cobb known as visual effects coordinator
  • Anthony D'Agostino known as digital compositor: Pixel Magic
  • Rif Dagher known as vfx/cg supervisor
  • Victor DiMichina known as production supervisor: Pixel Magic
  • Juan Flores known as digital colorist assistant: Efilm
  • John Follmer known as visual effects executive producer: VenSat America
  • Adam Folse known as visual effects artist
  • Andrew Francis known as digital colorist: Efilm
  • Erik Holman known as compositor
  • Erik Holman known as visual effects artist
  • Steven Lloyd known as visual effects
  • John R. McConnell known as digital compositor
  • Ray McIntyre Jr. known as visual effects supervisor
  • Jacqueline Rosado known as digital intermediate producer
  • Ray Scalice known as executive producer: Pixel Magic
  • Ray Scalice known as visual effects producer: Pixel Magic
  • Steven J. Scott known as supervising digital colorist
  • Doug Spilatro known as visual effects
  • Makana Sylva known as compositor: Pixel Magic
  • Venkat Karunakar Uday known as visual effects artist: Vensat Tech
  • Justin van der Lek known as visual effects lead: Digital Domain
  • Christopher Keith known as visual effects coordinator (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 9 August 2011 (Beverly Hills, California) (premiere)
  • Canada 10 August 2011
  • USA 10 August 2011
  • UK 14 August 2011 (Empire Big Screen)
  • Australia 1 September 2011
  • France 2 September 2011 (Deauville American Film Festival)
  • Israel 8 September 2011
  • Hungary 17 September 2011 (Jameson Cinefest International Film Festival)
  • Hong Kong 22 September 2011
  • Sweden 23 September 2011
  • Switzerland 2 October 2011 (Zurich Film Festival)
  • Portugal 5 October 2011
  • UK 5 October 2011 (London) (premiere)
  • Finland 7 October 2011
  • Germany 7 October 2011 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • Norway 7 October 2011
  • Belgium 12 October 2011 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 14 October 2011 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Lithuania 14 October 2011
  • Singapore 20 October 2011
  • France 26 October 2011
  • Ireland 26 October 2011
  • UK 26 October 2011
  • Iceland 28 October 2011
  • Spain 28 October 2011
  • Greece 2 November 2011 (Panorama of European Cinema)
  • Hungary 3 November 2011
  • Poland 4 November 2011
  • Malta 9 November 2011
  • Thailand 10 November 2011
  • Estonia 11 November 2011
  • Denmark 17 November 2011
  • Greece 24 November 2011
  • Kuwait 24 November 2011
  • India 25 November 2011
  • Germany 8 December 2011
  • Belgium 28 December 2011
  • Netherlands 29 December 2011
  • Argentina 12 January 2012
  • Chile 12 January 2012
  • Peru 12 January 2012
  • Italy 20 January 2012
  • Venezuela 20 January 2012
  • Colombia 27 January 2012
  • Brazil 3 February 2012
  • Bulgaria 3 February 2012
  • Turkey 10 February 2012
  • Russia 16 February 2012
  • Mexico 17 February 2012
  • Hong Kong 24 February 2012 (re-release)
  • Japan 25 February 2012 (Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Japan 31 March 2012

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for thematic material



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Help (2011) Related Movie

Ra.One (2011) Movie Poster
Babylon A.D. (2008) Movie Poster
Che: Part Two (2008) Movie Poster
Ishqiya (2010) Movie Poster
The Green Hornet (2011) Movie Poster

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. stevemcalevey from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    I just returned from seeing a special preview of "The Help," which isdue out in theaters this summer.

    Okay, so here's the truth: I'm a middle-aged, white male… I didn'tread the book and I assumed, based on the fact that this is a virtuallyan all-female cast, that this was some sort of chick flick. Boy, was Iwrong!

    This is an incredible film that not only pays justice to the bestselleron which it's based (according to those who have read the book AND seenthe film), but is phenomenally cast, with exceptional performances byViola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard andAllison Janney. Veteran actresses Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson alsodeliver incredible performances. While Tyson's character is central tothe storyline, her role comprises what seems to be a few, preciousminutes of the 2:20 running time, she delivers, in my opinion, one ofthe most powerful and moving moments in the film…one in which shedoesn't even utter a line (trust me, you'll know when you see it.)

    The Help also delivers some very funny moments and will make you laugh.I'll go so far as to say that this film and a few of its cast memberswill draw some Oscar nominations. I certainly think this takes Stoneinto a whole new level.

    The racial imbalances of 1963 are well illustrated in "The Help," andwill, no doubt, underscore how far America has come, as well as howlittle progress we've made in the last 50 years. Either way, this is apowerful movie that needs to be seen on the big screen as soon as youcan get a ticket.

  2. ashleyyh from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    I just got back from a special-screening of "The Help" at my localmovie theatre, so I thought that I might as well do a review for all ofyou who are wanting to see this movie when it comes out.

    Now, first off, I must admit that I have only read a portion of thebook, but I definitely do know a lot about it. After watching thetrailer, I was intrigued, so of course, I visited the IMDb boards tolearn more about it. At first glance, the casting caught my attentionbig-time. Emma Stone as 'Skeeter'? I bet most people were as shocked asI was to find out that she was cast as the main character — but let metell you what: the casting was superb! I could not have chosen a bettercast than what was already chosen. There was amazing chemistry betweenboth the antagonists and protagonists. I won't go into too much depthabout the characters, but for me, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, SissySpacek, and Octavia Spencer were the shining stars of the movie.

    Casting: 9.5/10 I know that there has been an on-going issue about thismovie from a lot of people claiming that "the blacks had to be 'saved'by the whites" (pardon the language), or something along those lines. Ihave to agree that the trailer does give off that type of vibe –Skeeter saving the colored-folks — however, the movie tells anddepicts otherwise – the colored-folks actually saved themselves. Minnyand Aibileen, as well as the other colored-folks in the community, werethe real "heroes" of the movie; they just needed someone to push themto their potential (Skeeter).

    I can not remember the last time I saw a movie that inspired me, mademe cry, made me laugh, and made me sad, angry, and hopeful, all at thesame time — this is what "The Help" strides and aims for, withoutmaking it "cheesy". Without a doubt in my mind, there are definitelyOscar-worthy performances in this movie. Not only does this moviedepict just the colored-folks' side of the story, but it also equallyshows the feelings of the white-folks, as well. So, you definitely getboth sides of the story without it being more or less "mean" or"degrading" to any sides.

    There are definitely a few awkward moments in the movie, but what moviedoesn't have them? This movie started around 7:10 and ended around 9:20– about 2 hours and 10 minutes, give or take, if my calculations arecorrect. However, this movie only felt like it was an hour-long. It wasso good that I didn't even know the two hours passed by until thetheatre lights lid and the rolling credits began.

    All in all, this is a DEFINITELY-MUST-SEE movie. I personally believethat it is one of the best movies of 2011. Go see it — you will notregret it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Movie rating: 9/10

  3. David Ferguson ( from Dallas, Texas
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    Greetings again from the darkness. The film is based on thecontroversial best selling novel by Kathryn Stockett. It wascontroversial because it is the story of Jim Crow-era maids written bya white woman. Yes, the book is actually the fictionalized story of awhite woman getting black maids to discuss their lives as maids forwhite folks. Rather than get into some politically correct dissertationon the book, movie or story, I will only comment on the film itself …this very entertaining movie that also manages to deliver a timelessmessage.

    Let me first start by saying that this movie is incredibly well acted.It is quite rare to have so many developed characters in one movie.There are some characters we immediately connect with, while othersdraw our ire each time their face appears. The script and these fineactresses utilize humor to point out the shameful behavior of those whosaw themselves as superior. The humor doesn't soften the ignorance orabuse, but it does make the film infinitely more watchable andentertaining. Please know this is not a documentary.

    Ms. Stockett's novel has a very loyal following in addition to thenaysayers. A two hour film must, of course, take short cuts and trimstory lines. Still the key elements are present. Based in Jackson,Mississippi during Governor Ross Barnett's term we see the socialshark, Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), in her full glory ofignorance, entitlement and superiority. We see her minions andfollowers emulating her moves while trying to gain her approval.

    The story takes off when Skeeter (Emma Stone) graduates from Ole Missand returns home and takes a job at the local newspaper. Possessingobservation skills and humanity that her lifelong friends can'tcomprehend, Skeeter desperately wants to tell a story from theperspective of the maids. As expected, the maids are hesitant, butAibileen (Viola Davis) does relent. The stories begin to flow and soonthe robust Minny (Octavia Spencer) joins in. Others soon follow theirlead and Skeeter's education goes to an entirely new level.

    That's really all of the story I care to discuss. The brilliance ofthis one is actually in the details … individual scenes and momentsof acting genius by most of the cast. In addition to those mentionedabove, Jessica Chastain plays Celia, the "white trash" outcast who sodesperately wants to be allowed back into the girls' club. Ms. Chastainwas seen a few weeks ago in the fabulous "Tree of Life" in quite adifferent role … I would venture to say no actress will have tworoles of such variance this year. Also, Allison Janney plays Skeeter'scancer-stricken mother, and Sissy Spacek is Hilly's mother who getstossed aside before she is ready to go! The great Cicely Tyson makes abrief appearance as Constantine, Skeeter's childhood maid who was doneso wrong after 29 years of service. Mary Steenburgen has a couple ofscenes as a big NYC book publisher.

    As a said, this is pure acting heaven, but I must single out ViolaDavis and Octavia Spencer. Viola is so powerful at the beginning andend of the film, and Ms. Spencer is a force of nature during themiddle. This movie is really their story and these two ladies make itfascinating, painful and a joy to behold. They both deserve recognitionat Oscar time.

    There are so many fantastic details to the film. At times, it is likewatching a classic car show … the late 50's and early 60's models areworks of art. The wardrobe, hair and make-up are perfect in setting upthe class differentials. The TV and radio segments provide context andtiming with the deaths of Medger Evers and JFK. Even the books onSkeeter's shelf make a statement: To Kill a Mockingbird, Huck Finn,Native Son, and Gone With the Wind.

    This story takes place 50 years ago and director Tate Taylor does anadmirable job of bringing Stockett's novel to the big screen. Mr.Taylor is a longtime friend of Ms. Stockett's and was quite fortunateto get the directing rights. He doesn't disappoint. Sure the story is abit glossy at times … it is geared towards the masses. If you arelooking for more depth, there are numerous documentaries available onthe Civil Rights movement. If you are seeking a very entertaining moviethat uses humor to tell a story and send a message, then this one's foryou.

  4. jwfuller from Virginia
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    If this film were total fiction bearing no relation to reality, itwould still be worth seeing for the fine acting and productionvalues–even if some of the young white women approached "SouthernGothic."

    But it wasn't fiction–at least, the depiction of Southern societywasn't. As I watched I kept drifting back to small-town South Carolinain the 1950s, where I grew up. It was moving and disturbing to bereminded how black people were treated then–loved and yet "kept downin their place." Our neighborhood was all middle-class and every familyhad a maid. There were plenty of boys my age, we visited in eachother's homes, and called every maid by her first name. One evenstarted a baseball team for the little white boys, for which her rewardwas a visit by the Klan.

    Our maid helped my mother cook and clean. One of my parents picked herup and took her home every day–and she rode in the back seat. She ateher lunch in our kitchen–without being allowed to use our utensils. Iremember her eating with her fingers. I do not remember ever seeing heruse our bathrooms. I thought about that during the movie and trulycannot recall what she did, an embarrassing gap in memory.

    I do remember when my father was out of work and our maid had to be cutback to three days a week. I actually cried; she was a member of ourfamily. When talk about civil rights began in the late 1950s, my motherbecame annoyed at our maid for getting "uppity." And so it went. Wemoved to central Florida in 1961, where there were no maids.

    Travel back in time with this film. It's quite real, and I highlyrecommend it.

  5. taylor_king-890-815491 from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    I took our 12 year old daughter to see this movie and we both loved it.She was not thrilled when I told her we were going to see a film thattold a story from the civil rights era but when we left she said sheloved it because of the women's courage, their humor and the power oftheir friendships. We had never seen most of the actors which wasrefreshing and the acting by the entire cast made it easy to gettotally involved. I laughed out loud and shed quite a few tears in TheHelp, and will remember it and recommend it to my friends. It waswonderful to see so many scenes in which the actors related to eachother so perfectly. Even the vilest characters showed moments ofconflict within themselves as they played out poor behavior that hadlong been inbred in them. I am especially grateful to the team whoprovided a film that told an engaging story about human relationshipswith important lessons for my daughter. That is a rare occurrence intoday's movies.

  6. deborahjwood from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    Oscar Oscar Oscar – Kathryn Stockett's beautiful book is Oscar worthyin this film — for editing, screenplay, supporting actress (severaldeserving) – Emma Stone just shines – at just 22 years old, this filmproves she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. There are sofew roles written for black women and I was thrilled to see such greatroles filled by Viola Davis (Abigail) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) -both should be nominated for supporting roles although in my opinion,along with Emma Stone, all three share top billing.

    The character development in this movie is really outstanding – I hatemovies with flat single dimension characters and these from the lowestto those with the most screen time are just remarkably developed – eventhe newspaper editor, the lines they chose for him to keep gave youenough information that even he is a memorable character with onlythree scenes, maybe 4 in the entire movie. Same for Stuart, Skeeter'slove interest – you actually like him then hate him and he only hasmaybe 3 minutes of air time. Great great job. Sissy Spacek with so fewspeaking moments is great as is Cicely Tyson who speaks volumes even inscenes with no words. Admittedly, being based on an amazing book thebackground story was already set out and tracks the book closelywithout some of the details but they have done a great job of puttingit to film –

    This movie sets out beautifully a terrible time in our history thatunfortunately is not over – it is better, but not over by a long shot.Being a child of the south and coming up during that time, being raisedby such bigoted grandparents and parents, it leaves me pause to wonderhow I avoided this rabid virus of hate and takes me back to long hotlazy days in the deep south before every building was air conditioned –such attention detail right down to the Jesus fans they waved in church– awesome flick. You FEEL the heat, the tension, the pain, theinjustice of the time but still you laugh with them even as you cry forthem – both races – ignorance is to be wept over.

    However, I think this movie does more, goes further in its explorationof the behavior of the privileged during that time. They were rabidtoward blacks but were not that much better toward anyone who did notshare their socio-economic status (the way the "Junior League" treatedCelia) and the enormous peer pressure they put on one another (the clubencouraging Skeeter's mother to make a poor decision). It visits thesins of the parents passed on to their children – the bigotry andinjustice that is learned at the knee of our elders. OMG it is just anawesome, poignant, moving, NOT TO BE MISSED film.

    Mesmerizing from start to finish – never once drags – just an easy easyeasy 10

  7. Twodude Review from South Jersey
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    Recently the other Dude and I were discussing that not many awardworthy movies come out during the summer; then I see The Help. To sayit is not a story that I am normally interested in would be anunderstatement. I wasn't around during the time of segregation to fullyappreciate the depth of this story. Additionally, if there was ever amovie that screamed "chick flick" it would be this one. In spite ofthat, I've heard wonderful things about the book and decided to viewthe movie. I'm happy to say that I'm glad that I did. Virtually unknowndirector Tate Taylor put together a cast of relatively unknown actorsand actresses that truly made the story go.

    Taylor, whose last movie was the little seen Pretty Ugly People,grabbed a familiar actress to join him in making The Help, AllisonJanney. Other than Janney the only other familiar actresses in themovie are Cicely Tyson and Sissy Spacek. The rather unknown cast has afresh feeling on the story and there are no preconceived notions basedon a past actor or actresses work. That being said Emma Stone (Easy A),and Viola Davis had a true coming out party in The Help. Both womenplayed fantastic parts, which really made the cast mesh nicelytogether. Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastainwere all spectacular in supporting roles alongside Stone and Davis.

    When a movie doesn't have the explosions, crazy action or crude humorthat we've become accustomed to seeing in newer movies there has got tobe a great story attached in order to maintain your interest; The Helphad that great story. There aren't many movies that have you laughing,crying, or getting angry and end up still being fantastic and that iswhere this one had me. With my common rule of no movie should be over 2hours unless it is special; this one is very special. I would besurprised if there aren't a number of nominations coming.

    Children: If they can handle a lot of dialog it is age appropriate for10+ Award Worthy: YES! Nominations for: Best Actress, Best SupportingActress, Screenplay, Picture, Director Entertaining: Yes Summer MovieGrade: A+ Is it Worth the Price of a Movie ticket: Yes Would I watch ItAgain: Yes

    Visit our site at

  8. M. J Arocena from New Zealand
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    Lovely performances makes this far too clean and neat story, not merelypalatable but enjoyable. We know by now that the plight of the"colored" in the South wasn't that clean cut or gentle in any way orshape. Here we can sit and watch discovering the depth of he ordeal inthe wonderful face of Viola Davis. But, it all remains in the mildmargins of the real story. Entertaining yes but I couldn't forgetdocumentaries of the period or "The Long Walk Home" with WhoopiGoldberg and Sissy Spacek. Sissy Spacek is in "The Help" too and she'svery funny. It also shows Bryce Dallas Howard under a new light. Thebitchy, almost evil light. She's better here than she's ever been. EmmaStone is lovely and the wonderful Allison Janney in a disturbinglyrecognizable character raises the film to unexpected levels. I felt thefilm was too long and too careful not to offend anybody and that's wereits weaknesses lay. But, I do recommend it.

  9. John DeSando ( from Columbus, Ohio
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm

    I grew up in the 60's, the setting for The Help, a story of Southernprejudice and cruelty toward African Americans, who were chattel of theSouthern rich treating their servants as expendable and marginal. I cansay that as a Northerner with a black maid for our household, there waslove but always a barrier, a carryover from the strict separation stillprevailing after reconstruction.

    Director Tate Taylor keeps the race relations taut but not strident, asif we were living through the emerging civil rights movement slowly butinevitably aimed at equality, not "separate but equal." Skeeter (EmmaStone) graduates, returns to Jackson, Miss., and decides to write aboutthe black help, whose "perspective' needs to be told. As more maidsjoin in the writing of the manuscript, the more possible it is tocounter the assassination of Medgar Evers and eventually that of MartinLuther King.

    While we have grown used to the base scatological humor of theHangovers, Change-UP, and other rom-coms, the fundament motif in TheHelp is as low-key as will ever be depicted in film. Not only is theidea of the bad guys "eating s—t" effective, it is funny and poignant.

    A note about the performances—Bryce Dallas Howard as the conservative,prejudiced Hilly, is remarkably successful, making her a full-fledgedactress and not just a famous director's daughter. Jessica Chastain asthe ditzy but big-hearted Celia Foote cements her place as a greatmodern actress following her memorable role as the compliant wife inTree of Life. Emma Stone no longer need rely on rom-coms, for she starsin The Help with a performance nuanced and underplayed, just the way Ilike it, albeit a bit too hip for the times.

    Although the film tends toward the simplistic, e.g., there are no badblacks and most whites are obtuse, Viola Davis as maid Aibileen Clarksuccessfully carries the film displaying the ambivalent nature ofslavery ready to burst out of its chains.

  10. twim23 from Los Angeles, CA
    29 Mar 2012, 4:34 pm


    I went and saw The Help last night.

    I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't as offensive as "TheBlind Side" (ala the big overgrown, illiterate, strong as an ox, loyal,gullible, clown saved by a white Christian savior caricature) but theoverall story was pretty watered down.

    The acting is solid, but I was torn about this movie. It does elicitthe "Great White Hope" character, in that the maids only come togetherthrough the unlikely liberalism and goodness of a young whitecharacter. Its message for the future is also disturbing. For example,toward the end, one maid is offered salvation by a white couple whooffers her the security of being their maid for the REST OF HERLIFE…a deal that makes her eyes grow wide with happiness. Meanwhile,the main white character goes off to greener pastures outside thelimitations of her town.

    There are also some unsettling caricatures…like a "Mammy" figure whogets misty eyed when she talks about how frying chicken makes her feelgood inside.

    I think they were pretty spot on in the portrayal of the white"southern belles (given that I'm from Jackson myself)." They weremostly ridiculous, petty and cold…which, to my understanding, is howthey really were. It makes for some good comedic moments.

    This is a "safe" film…there's no violence, and the threat of violencedoesn't feel very immediate or nearby. The racism of the day feels likean omniscient boogey-man…and the white men in the film are allportrayed in an indifferent "they could care less" light…which seemsVERY unbelievable. And the Black men were either abusive, docile ormessengers…I mean, not a single, strong Black man?

    The real sad thing about this film is what it says about Black progressin Hollywood. I haven't seen "real" roles for black women thisyear…and it's telling that the project that employs the most blackwomen at once is one where they all have to play maids. Even in atrailer shown before this film for "Tower Heist," Gabourey Sidibe (from"Precious") is playing a maid…complemented by Eddie Murphy playing aconvict with expert knowledge on robberies. So, blacks are eithersubservient, criminals, comedic clowns…or the ever present "tokenblack friend." The exception to this rule are the few Blacks that areseen as being "negro-lite"…e.g. Will Smith, Halle Berry and Beyonce.

    Many whites don't understand why Blacks are sensitive to theirportrayals on film…but whites have to realize…you have an abundanceof images to choose from. However, we have very few. Imagine takingyour children to the movies…and the people that look like them, onscreen, are usually stupefied, marginalized, subservient or comedic tothe point of buffoorney. That's not the reality whites EVER have toaccept, adapt to or address. This is not playing the race card…asthere is no card to play when this is your life.

    My grandmother was a maid, like these women in the film. She went towork every day for the local car dealer's family…doing housework,cooking their meals and taking care of their kids for $5/day. Shesupplemented her income ironing white people's clothes from town. Sheraised 10 kids and helped with the war effort at home. While a filmlike "The Help" gives her a voice, it also robs her of hope that thingswill get better. After all, one maid quits her job even though heroptions are extremely limited and she has jeopardized her own safety byhelping Skeeter…the other maid accepts a position to be the lifetimemaid of another couple and then leaves her abusive husband…and thethird maid that we come to know is rotting in jail. The only people whomake out with better futures are the white characters….Skeeter is offto New York. Celia learns how to cook and, through the "wisdom" of hermaid, learns how to communicate with her husband and develops selfworth. The young white child Viola was raising may get a "fightingchance" because Viola tells her mother to give her one. And Hilly mayactually become a better person who's finally learned the error of herways.

    Finally, there is one part that really summarized this whole film tome. At one point, Skeeter is sitting at Viola Davis's table. She asksher if she ever wanted to do anything else rather than be a maid. ViolaDavis nods…and Skeeter never follows up with her to ask her what shewanted to do. My feeling was she didn't ask because it wasirrelevant…irrelevant to the story and to the reality of the time.Black women didn't have choices, so there was no reason to speak ofdreams that they both knew were empty.

    All in all, I think this film is a nice effort for what it was, andfluff for what it was not.


Leave a Reply