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  • Movie Review: The Help

    Director : Tate Taylor

    Cast : Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard

    Year of Release (Film): 2011

    Running Time : 146 min

    Call No. : English 791.4372 HEL- [ART]

    This film is based on Kathryn Stockett’s novel of the same name, “The Help” which is set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. This novel is also one of the selected works for this year’s READ! Singapore 2012 initiative.

    Back then, most Southern white children from prominent families were raised by black women who devoted their lives to looking after them. The protagonist, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone), who was raised by a black woman herself, returns home from college in the hopes of becoming a writer. She finds herself offered to write a “homemaker hints” column in the local paper. With her own beloved helper gone, she consults her good friend Elizabeth’s helper, Aibileen (Viola Davis), for tips. The two become close and Skeeter becomes uncomfortable with her friends’ attitudes towards their helpers. Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), in particular, stirs things up by proposing a bill to provide separate toilets for the black helpers as she believes they carry diseases different from white people.

    Enraged, Skeeter decides to write a book, The Help, based on the lives of the helpers who spent their entire lives looking after white children, as she seeks to give them their own voice for the first time. With four Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture, this movie will not only draw tears from the audience, but will make them laugh while feeling empowered by the passion and determination of one determined individual.

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    Above reviews are contributed by Melissa Kawasoe, Associate Librarian, National Library Board (NLB).

    The DVD covers are the copyright of the respective movie production companies.

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