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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 21: The Help


Feb 21: The Help

"An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis."

  The Help is a great movie with a good message about a bad time in our history. With excellent acting and a great script, The Help succeeds as a feel good movie. However, any movie with this setting and material cannot avoid being cliche at times. The film brings nothing new to the film world or the genre, but it does stand out on its own as having a good mix of drama, humor, and charm. It's almost as though the producers decided to make a cookie cutter film about racism specifically for the Oscars. 

"I have a dream that people will make movies about the civil rights movement, and win Oscars."

   The best part of The Help is the acting. Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jessica Chastain are all excellent. Viola Davis, as Aibileenis marvelous and genuine and so real with her character, you can't help but laugh and cry with her. If Meryl Streep wins another Oscar on Sunday, the Academy is absolutely idiotic. It's Davis' to win. Octavia Spencer is incredible as Minny, and she brings a much needed lightheartedness to the film. She could be considered the "comic relief" of the film, and the humor she brings is unique and sincere. And, in all seriousness, I pray that this year will be a first, come Oscar Sunday, where two incredible African American women walk away with the two actress awards. It's refreshing to see a movie with so many strong roles for women. 

They deserve it. 

   Overall, The Help is a film that's completely reliant on its performances and without each actress in her respected role (that each woman was made for), the film would be entirely forgettable. The script is strong and smart, but a movie with such a dangerously sensitive theme, the boundaries should be pushed a little further. The film is safe, and uplifting, but it just seems to sugar coat the issues slightly. I'd recommend The Help, and I hope to see it take away a few awards this week. 

The Good:
incredible performances by amazing women
The Bad:
just a little too safe
The Ugly:
a reminder of how horrible things were, just fifty years ago

Overall: 8.3/10

Best Quote:
Aibileen Clark: "18 people were killed in Jackson that night. 10 white and 8 black. I don't think God has color in mind when he sets a tornado loose."

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