“The Help” offers a soulful look at the South in the 1960s
Our Academy Awards series showcasing this year’s Best Picture nominees continues with the civil rights drama “The Help.”
The Plot: At the start of the civil rights movement, a young white woman (Emma Stone) seeks to tell the story of the black maids (including Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) who have been serving the upper class residents of Jackson, Miss., for generations.
The Good: Fans of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book will find plenty to like about Tate Taylor’s soulful big-screen adaptation. Bolstered by strong performances by Oscar nominees Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain, “The Help” offers an emotional look at life on either side of the color line in the South in the 1960s.
The Bad: Despite its best intentions, “The Help” can be a bit broad at times. Also, one maid’s method of culinary revenge will turn stomachs.
The Verdict: If “The Artist” doesn’t win Best Picture, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the producers of “The Help” standing on stage instead. How could the Academy resist a critically acclaimed crowd-pleaser that turned a very healthy box office profit?
“The Help” image by Dale Robinette. ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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