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Sunday, November 20, 2011

[10/10] The Help (2011)

 
 
The Help (2011)

Full review: Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name, "The Help" is about a young journalist, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of two black maids, exposing the racism they're faced with working for white families. This adaptation deals with an uncomfortable subject matter (or in other words, racism), but does it with a sense of humor and a dose of irony, which makes it unique in its own way. "The Help" truly is rollercoaster ride of emotions - it's sad, yet uplifting; inconvenient, yet enjoyable; tearful, yet heart-warming, but it's always engrossing and never fails to engage the audience with its inspiring story and delightful characters. Minor flaws aside, the adapted script is clever and fantastically-written, with each line being important and necessary for the overall impact of the movie. "The Help" has an amazing ensemble cast, and every single one of the performances in the movie deserves an Oscar nomination. The charming Emma Stone shows another different side of her, and proves how versatile she is as an actress. Her character is likable and very engaging, and you can't help but feeling connected to her. The uber-talented Viola Davis that delivers another strong, powerful and moving performance as the humbled, yet bold black maid, Aibileen, but it's Octavia Spencer that steals the show as the feisty Minny Jackson, bringing huge personality and lots of laughs. The connection between these three characters is strong and believable, and without a doubt the main driving force of the movie. The supporting cast does an excellent job as well, with the two main standouts being Bryce Dallas Howard, who gives an incredibly convincing performance as the prejudiced and malicious Hilly, and Jessica Chastain, who delivers a hilarious performance as the quirky, yet sympathetic Celia, who's being rejected from everybody. The technical aspects of the film are truly a work of art. Set in the early 60s, "The Help" has this cool retro vibe to it, that makes it very appealing, visually. The production design looks incredibly authentic and represents the era quite perfectly, the costumes are chic and stylish, and the color-effect filters used by the cinematographer create a soft reddish tint on the visuals, that makes the film look warm as well as dazzlingly eye-catching. Tate Taylor's direction is so slick and skillful, you'd never guess "The Help" is only his second full-length film, plus, it's complimented by a brilliant editing that smooths the pacing, and makes you forget about the 137 minutes long running time. 

Overall summary: Brilliantly-written, wonderfully-acted and beautifully-filmed, "The Help" is as touching and emotionally-powerful as it's uplifting and delightfully absorbing, and will win your heart and stay in your mind long after the credits roll, simply because it's one of the best movies of 2011, and one of the finest book adaptations ever made.

18 comments:

Maynard Morrissey said...

Extremely excited about it, especially because of all the amazing reviews, the nice trailer and the fact that it's actually one of the most succesful movies this year, at least in USA.

Nebular said...

Maynard, I'm surprised (but glad) that you're excited about this one. :)

I guess there's a reason for it to be that successful - it's bloody brilliant! The story, the acting, the sets, the cinematography... everything about it is amazing. Plus, it touched me deeply and I didn't want it to end. :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

:-) will probably (and hopefully) see it next year, and it looks like this will be 2012's King's Speech (at least for me)

Nebular said...

For me, The Help was better than King's Speech, because it lacked the melancholic mood of the latter. ;)

I hope you'll be able to see it very very soon. By the way, it already leaked online.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Out of curiosity I'll see it on NetFlix, but it's not my type of film.

Caledonia Lass said...

Awesome review! My mom is wanting to see this movie. I believe she read the book as well. I need to do both. :D

Nebular said...

Alex, you should watch it with your wife. It's very touching.

Nebular said...

Thank you, Caledonia! :)

Haven't read the book, but the movie blew me away!

Melissa Bradley said...

What a glorious review! I cannot wait to see this as I have not been able to catch it in theaters due to lack of funds. I read the book, now your review, so I know I am absolutely going to love this. I am a huge Emma Stone fan. I think she's just brilliant. I also love Viola and Bryce. Hope you had a great weekend, sweetie. :)

Nebular said...

Thnaks, hon. :) I'm glad I had the chance to see this one, because it won't be released theatrically here till February. It was so emotional and heartfelt, and I absolutely loved it.

Emma Stone is one of my favorite young actresses. Her screen presence is just incredible. Viola was amazing as well, but Octavia Spencer is the one to watch here. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well. :)

Ricky said...

Wow, didn't think it'd be that good.

Nebular said...

Ricky, me neither, but it turned out pretty amazing. You should give it a shot.

Nicole✗✗ said...

Fantastic review!! I am super excited to see this one! I completely forgot about it so thank you for reminding me. I'm learning you really can't go wrong with Emma Stone. : )

Nebular said...

Ah, thank you so much, sweetheart. :)
Absolutely, Emma Stone always deliver. I'm looking forward to her next project.

Nicole, check it out as soon as you can. I'm sure you're gonna love it.

HorrO said...

You definitely picked a good movie to see when you decided to watch this one. I didn't know much about it, but my gf wanted to see it so we went to an advanced screening of it. I was really impressed with the movie, and we told all our friends to see it once it came out. Stone was awesome in a very different role for her. Everyone was awesome in the movie. Loved the story. Definitely a roller coaster of emotions. Great review and well worth the 9 rating!

Nebular said...

HorrO, I expected something really great, and that is what I got. :)

I was so excited when I saw it, I forced my mom to watch it too, because I knew she's gonna love it. She did, of course. :)

Thanks for the compliment, mate, and glad we agree on this one. :)

J-SON said...

Oh man, regretted missing this one out while it was screening earlier over my region. A pity.

Nebular said...

J-Son, you should regret missing this one indeed, it was a fantastic adaptation and so heart-warming. Definitely one of my favorite movies of 2011.