135 of 154 people found the following review helpful
Not the movie you think it is,
This review is from: The Help (DVD)
"The Help" works as well as it does because it doesn't offer easy answers. This lovely and sometimes extraordinary film is not concerned with big sermons about clivil rights, religion or easy to swallow messages. The film is simply about behavior; how we should act, morally, towards other people, no matter who they might be. This thematic line is structured nicely throughout the film by zeroing in on a select group of people. This was a smart move since the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s is just too large a subject to truly flesh out in a 2 hour film. Because the film is about actual characters instead of predisposed, prepackaged lessons, the audience can take with them what they choose from the story (none of the characters have a major epiphany, each just starts to become aware of their behavior and effects, both good and bad- they all have so much more life to live). Surprisingly the film rarely gets melodramatic, and when it does it almost seems cheep and easy. Thankfully the films few flaws (structure, pacing, some silly dialogue here and there- "You broke her heart...!") can be overlooked due to the tremendous performances. Each actress is exceptional in their own ways with the wonderful Viola Davis stealing the film. Emma Stone is reliable here as always and proves that she can be funny and carry dramatic weight in the same film. I have always considered Bryce Dallas Howard to be a very accomplished actress and hopefully her scathing, pointed work will be recognized. Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain find a tender chemistry all their own. I have to say that "The Help" really, truly surprised me. I have never read the mega-selling novel from which it's based but I can tell you the film is a beautiful testament to American history and is a great display for some truly fine acting. For those who are turned off by sermonizing, preachy, obnoxious message movies (like myself), "The Help" is far from that. This is a tender film about real emotions and a subject that is rarely discussed in film today.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 15, 2011 12:36:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 15, 2011 12:36:12 PM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2012 3:58:21 AM PST
Eric J. Winston says:
Lame troll is lame. -_-
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2012 10:19:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2012 10:20:30 PM PST
Dear Neo: If an example is made concerning how we would like to act, does its source really matter? Your criticism is not of the film but of the person who expressed their thoughts. It would seem that your comment has no purpose relative to the film but would only serve to suppress the thoughts of someone you probably do not even know. Accordingly, the value of your comment is doubtful at best. Mr. Carrier has the choice to accept or reject how to act as he believes the film has suggested and to change his mind concerning his decision, but your directive and its stated results tell him what he must think and do relative to the film and leaves him no choice which makes your directive as absolute as looking toward you to tell him how to act instead of Hollywood. My comments may be effectively making a mountain from a mole hill, but I have a strong personal belief that no one has the right to tell another human how he must think.
Posted on May 14, 2014 4:05:17 AM PDT
Art Scott says:
I don't know that I agree with the film having pacing flaws, and silly lines? People say corny things all the time. I KNOW people who would have said "You broke her heart!..." so, again, would disagree that's an actual flaw, especially since the film contained so many magnificent lines like "2 slice Hilly." That single line had me laughing so hard for so long my veins darn near turned white from all the white blood cells the laughter generated. Still, everyone's entitled to an opinion (even the imbecile who is an insult to and mockery of the Character from whom he stole his online name). I found the remainder of the review, however, to be spot on, and really well done.
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