Golden Globe Best Picture Nominee: The Help

by Nicholas Robinson

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Emma Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Viola Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times. – IMDB.com

I have delayed watching this movie due to the fact that when I saw the trailer, it looked like the year’s token racism movie.  The trailer didn’t really make it look special in really anyway, just Oscar bait.  However, after all the praise the movie received and its nomination for a Golden Globe, I decided to watch it and my suspicions were confirmed.  It was Oscar bait, but very good Oscar bait.  It has everything, a good story, great performances, and some great comedy (which actually surprised me).

The story in this movie was really good and what I really like about it is that instead of the story focusing on plot points and a great connecting plot line, it focused on characters and how they reacted to the situations around them and that was great.  The way the characters dealt with their situation was just so well done.

However, this is a story that would be average at best if it were not for the performances that helped shape it.  All of them were great performances but I have to (as always) single out three people.  Viola Davis’ performance as Aibileen was amazing.  Every single scene with her was just so powerful and moving, she deserves that nomination in the Globes and even though I don’t think she’ll win (due to the other nominees) it would be a pleasant surprise if she did.  Octavia Spencer was great as Minnie.  She provided not only great emotional scenes, but also a lot of comedic relief and transitions between them not just with ease but seemingly without effort which is one of the hardest things to do.  However, what I think was the greatest performance in the movie was Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote.  Her seemingly ignorant defiance of societal norms along with her emotional scenes easily makes her the best actress in the entire movie.

Like I said, surprisingly there was some really great comedy almost exclusively brought on my Octavia Spencer but some moments can be attributed to Jessica Chastain (although I’m not entirely sure it was intentional.  However the best comedic moment in that movie involves a very delicious chocolate pie; that scene had me on the floor laughing until my abdomen hurt.

Overall, this movie with five golden globe nominations deserves your watch.

IMDB says 8/10

RT says 76%

I say 8.5/10

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~ by sputnikreviews on January 2, 2012.

One Response to “Golden Globe Best Picture Nominee: The Help”

  1. Great review! I too have been putting off seeing this one because it looks a little formulaic, but I may have to find a copy somewhere.

    Also, what’s with Jessica Chastain being EVERYWHERE this year? The Help, The Tree of LIfe, Coriolanus, Take Shelter, and The Debt. Yow.

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