The Help review

Tate Taylor
Emma Stone
Viola Davis
Octavia Spencer
Bryce Dallas Howard
Jessica Chastain
Rated: PG-13

Wow, Bryce Dallas Howard can really play one mean bitch.

The Help is about black maids working in a Mississippi town in the 1960s. The people they work for usually don’t treat them very well and the film delves into their plight. The two main maid characters were Aibileen (Davis) and Minny (Spencer), and after we find out their lives, we meet Skeeter (Stone), a young woman who has just finished going to school at Ole Miss and is now looking for a job in journalism.

As Skeeter gets to know Aibileen and Minny, she soon sees the difficulty they go through and decides to tell their story by writing a book and getting it published by a New York company. While this goes on, Minny begins working for a new person named Cecilia (Chastain), who is ecstatic to have a maid. And it just so happens that both Cecilia and Skeeter are starting to get under Hilly’s (Howard) skin.

The plot of The Help is extremely character driven and it works very well. The main narrative is Aibileen’s as she tells what has happened through her life. However, all the characters have back stories and each of them are enjoyable to follow. The stories of these women suck you in right at the start and carries the film all the way through. The pacing was nice as well, the two and a half hour length is rarely felt.

Each of these characters were well performed. Aibileen was the strongest, portrayed by Viola Davis, she really brought a lot of emotion to the film every time she was on screen. Emma Stone was great as well, stepping out of her usual romantic or comedic roles. She was fantastic in the film and is solidifying her place as a future Hollywood contender.

Bryce Dallas Howard did her part in the film too, playing the mean, villain character really well. The rest of the cast was strong as well. Their were characters with smaller roles in the film who may not have been in the film much but were still great to see. For example, Hilly’s mother Mrs. Walters (Sissy Spacek), was absolutely hilarious.

Overall, The Help is a great character driven piece with a very strong cast that brings a lot of emotion to the screen that keeps the film running smoothly. 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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