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Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan just graduated from Ole Miss and is intent on getting a job as a writer. Unlike the girls she grew up with in Jackson, Mississippi, Skeeter wants a career and is quite content to put marriage and children on hold, much to her married friends'—and her mother's—constant consternation. When she lands a job writing the Miss Myrna cleaning-hints column for the local newspaper, she seeks help from Aibileen, her best friend's maid, and finds herself embarking on a clandestine project, spurred on by a book editor in New York and inspired by the moving stories she uncovers.
Drama - This is a period drama based on the best selling novel aimed at female audiences, particularly African-American audiences. Adult subject matter makes the film one of caution for parents of young children, but this can be an educational tool for teens. Fans of the actresses, especially Viola Davis and Emma Stone, will have plenty to savor here.
Roger EbertFull Review Good ...this is a good film, involving and wonderfully acted.
USA TodayFull Review Good But The Help, with its emphasis on an unlikely friendship transcending segregated strictures, manages this tricky feat. It also personalizes the broader issue of civil rights by focusing on one slice of the black experience.
Entertainment WeeklyFull Review Average But readers who felt they came to intimately know characters such as Celia, Minny and Skeeter are likely to greet their alter egos on screen like cherished, long-lost friends - especially the nobly suffering Aibileen, here brought to quietly watchful life by Viola Davis.
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Outspoken Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is a 33-year-old housekeeper who has a reputation as the best cook in Mississippi. She works for Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), but an act of defiance finds her fired and traveling to the outskirts of Jackson to work for lonely, fish-out-of-water Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain). Minny is Aibileen's best friend and helped her get through her grief over losing her only son. Though strong and independent, Minny nonetheless is the voice of reason, as well as a healthy skeptic, when it comes to Skeeter's project. A remarkable sisterhood emerges from their improbable alliance, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face to face with the changing times.