Adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel, one of the most enjoyable I books have read recently, The Help hits theaters in August. The trailer hit the internet yesterday.
Set in early-1960s Mississippi, the film stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, a recent college graduate who returns to her hometown. She becomes aware of how her childhood friends treat their African-American maids when one Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to create a law that requires “the help” to use separate, outdoors bathrooms. Skeeter teams up with two maids, beleaguered Aibileen (Viola Davis) and trouble-maker Minny (Octavia Spencer), to rock the system in the form of a newspaper column.
It is a great story set against the backdrop of the more violent moments of the Civil Rights Movement (Medgar Evers murder is one of the many events that has a significant role in the novel). The unexpected relationship that develops between Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny carries the book. The women portraying these characters are dynamic performers, capable carrying a film. But I am hoping that The Help is not the next The Secret Life of Bees. (Sorry Queen Latifah but you are no Viola Davis.) I am also hoping that Emma Stone’s bad fake perm grows on me.
What are your thoughts on The Help?