Wow, powerful, funny, poignant and uncomfortable - that's the laundry list of my reactions after seeing an advanced screening of the new film The Help at BlogHer 11 last weekend.
Set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, Skeeter (Emma Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer and turns her friends' lives and the town upside down when she decides to interview the black women taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Viola Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- answering questions like "What is it like to raise a white child while your own child is at home?"
I knew very little about the story before going into the theater as I hadn't read the bestselling book, yet luckily I still really enjoyed it. I wish I was more prepared though and had tissues on hand, because the one I had in my purse was worn to bits by the time the credits scrolled. It definitely put a damper on the partying that night, lol. I wasn't the only one affected, as almost all the women were rushing to the bathroom for tissues and to fix their ruined makeup. Yet, although there were sad and intense parts, there was also a lot of laughter and uplifting moments too.
The acting is superb with stellar performances by Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney and Bryce Dallas Howard as the irritating villain that you'll love to hate. Best of all, there is never a dull moment in the film, I was riveted and enjoyed the ride.
The Help comes out tomorrow, Wednesday August 10th, so go see it!! Just bring tissues though. (PG-13)
Here's the trailer: