With Wit, Reviewed By Kimmo Mustonenen
“The Help” is funny and touching (right in the heart chamber) adaptation of the novel of the same title published in 2009 by Kathryn Stockett.
How come it took so long to hang the book on the screen? I laugh at me.
Sockett’s book, a success in the Anglo market, makes a young American, “Skeeter” Phelan, whose relationship with two African-American women raised early sixties, a key cheerful and endearing, which was the movement Civil Rights in that country.
Was ever a more cheerful time?
With their impeccable debut film adaptation behind the camera to actor Tate Taylor, under whom works an excellent cast led by Emma Stone (“Easy A” – hubba!), Mike Vogel, Bryce Dallas Howard (she kicked my butt in “Terminator: Salvation”, even with red hair), Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Allison Janney (CJ in “The West Wing” and voice in those annoying Kaiser-Permanente commercials – I don’t want to thrive, alright?!?).
Broadly speaking, the script preserves the essential novel by Kathryn Stockett and gets carried away by the personality of three unforgettable characters: Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), an African-American middle-aged white babysitter (white babies, Aibilieen is not white – this is important later), shattered by the loss of a son, Jackson Minny (Octavia Spencer), another black maid who dreams of a stable job (one that lasts awhile, not with horses), and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone), the young graduate and aspiring writer who returns home and realizes that certain prejudices weigh like a millstone.
Except when you’re hot.
Set in Jackson, Mississippi, “The Help” portrays, through the comedy of manners and the intimate drama, the complicated emotional relationship plotted between white and black (no gray area here) communities throughout the sixties, just at that stage in which, happily, it all started to change.
Except for poor George Wallace. He wasn’t happy at all.
The success of this production will not surprise those who know the reputation that precedes the novel by Kathryn Stockett (if I write her name three times I get a free Kindle! Success!), a delightful book, which was rejected by sixty literary agents before they achieved the feat that is already on his lapel (contortionists – before you make letters, I know “feat” and “feet” are not the same. I’m from Finland, not Retardia.), selling five million copies and remain one hundred weeks on the bestseller list of The New York Times.
With Emma Stone and Viola Davis hired for the main roles, the rest of the casting was a relatively simple task. Throw a copy of the book down Sunset, hit an actor head-wise and “you’re in a movie!” Invented by Soderbergh. Genius.
And what about the atmosphere? This is another chapter in which the film succeeds completely (although it can’t really be seen – much like the air atmosphere we breath).
To preserve the spirit of the age and local color, the team moved to Greenwood, Mississippi.
Parts of the film also took place Jackson,Clarksdale and Greenville. Undoubtedly, all contribute to the feeling of breathing the whole truth. And being surrounded by hicks.
Kimmo Mustonenen – (Kimmo On Kino) – Behind The Proscenium
P.S. The Glee Project?!? WTF?!?! Lindsay, if you need comfort, contact me at Manka Bros. You have made Ginnifer Goodwin no longer exist on me. Forever.