The Help cleans up summer box office
Not sure if The Help was to be Oscar bait or what, certainly what’s supposed to pass for more high brow entertainment. And speaking of, the one review I read in the NYTwas like, did they like it? Kinda abstruse.
What it’s not.
A comedy or a dramedy or a quirky drama or hard, heavy drama. Sorry but the previews tried to make this seem funnier and light than it was. It also wasn’t a tough, searing look at racism, classism, sexism, or any other ism; certainly not as ‘Hollywood’ tough as say, the overrated Crash.
What it is.
A character study, a look at relationships. Specifically that people can spend their whole lives with other people, trust them to rear their kids.. and then treat them like the shit they pay someone else to scrape off their shoes.
- I spotted Dell from Private Practice, which I hadn’t watched in years.
- Bryce Dallas Howard had the tough gig of being horrible yet trying to make you think that she could still win hearts and minds of the whites, some sort of Draconian power she wields. The rest of the Stepford Wives were nondescript at best.
- Emma Stone was fine as lead but you’d expect more smarts from the college grad. And don’t get me started on the ethical lapses from little miss journalist, guess back then transparency and disclosure weren’t in the vocabulary.
- Viola Davis always good, her story the focus of the back ass racism the movie is preaching against.
- Sissy Spacek does a good dotty Southerner and as in Juno, Allison Janney amazes because that is what she does (let us never speak of the shameful waste she was on LOST.)
- To me the knock performance was Octavia Spencer who played Millie who is really the linchpin in the whites and the white trash upstart she tried to train to be a proper Southern wife. If any Oscar nods go to the actors, she gets my vote for supporting.
All’s well that ends…
I liked that there wasn’t a big denouement wrap up of where are they now, no future shot of Emma as reporter or future riches, etc.
Final Snark: good but not as ‘end all, be all’ great as you might think. (Belated posting, my bad for killing the database.)
- Heavy-Handed ‘Help’ Saved By Great Acting (npr.org)
- Will Oscar Hire “The Help”? (thefilmexperience.net)