Review: The Help

It’s been what feels like a lifetime since I went to the cinema.  Actually, in truth, it’s been almost 8 months (coinciding with the presence of Richmond Baby in our lives).  Actually, in truth, there was that one time at band camp, when Richmond Daddy and I went to the outdoor cinema in Bushey Park to celebrate our 4-year wedding anniversary by watching a screening of cinematic classic ET over a nighttime picnic – most enjoyable, but not “technically” a trip to the cinema – and that was over a month ago.  Essentially, it’s been a while since I sat in an Odeon, ate popcorn (that smells/tastes like feet), and stared goggle-eyed at a big screen while kicking myself for forgetting that I now need glasses when I go to the flicks.

So, when I was invited to go to a special mum bloggers screening of forthcoming Dreamworks film The Help, I jumped at the chance and immediately invited my best bloggy friend Grenglish to come along and drink wine/eat nibbles (that thankfully didn’t smell/taste of feet) and watch what is set to be an box-office blockbuster of a film.

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-seller, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett – who was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, where the book is set – the film stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer – who for me provides a stand-out performance – as Minny.

Described as a “provocative and inspiring look at what happens when a southern town’s unspoken code of rules and behaviour is shattered by three courageous women” and one that the The Sunday Times calls ‘the other side of Gone with the Wine‘, the story centres on these three very different women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who form an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts all three of them at risk in a variety of different ways.

Given that I’ve largely been living under a rock for this past year, preoccupied only with poo-bums and purée-ing and not the latest best-selling books or eagerly anticipated films, I must confess that I’d never heard of “The Help” and wasn’t sure if it was really for me when I read the synopsis.  BUT, it turned out to be easily one of the best films I’ve seen in a long long time and that’s not just because it is the only film I’ve since in a long long time.  No siree.  I laughed lots.  I gasped in shock LOTS.  I had a lump in my throat and fought back tears (because crying in public would only cause my carefully applied in M&S jewellery department mascara – see here for details – to run) throughout.  It was an incredibly moving, poignant story that was also filled with humour and with hope.

Take a look at this trailer to give you a taster, it gives a much better feel for the film than I can possibly describe in words:

It was truly a great film and the fact that I missed one of the funniest bits – or as the lovely Grenglish assured me “easily THE funniest bit of the whole film” – when I nipped out to (a) go to the loo (b) steal wine and nuts to bring back with me into the swanky Charlotte Street Hotel screening room (you can take a girl outta Croydon…), is only one of the reasons why I will definitely be wanting to watch this film again.

Directed by Tate Taylor – who also hails from Jackson, Mississippi – The Help is released on 26th October.  You can join the conversation about the film on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/TheHelpMovieUK

Go see!

2 thoughts on “Review: The Help

  1. I LOVE this review! What a great film, I can’t wait to see it again although certainly will not have as much fun next time! Thank you for inviting me x

    • Aah thank you – I loved yours too – mutual appreciation, love it! Was delighted you could come with me… Until the next time… I look forward to the next RM and Grenglish escapade! X

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