A period piece that will move and inspire you to stand for what you believe is right.
Skeeter Phelan (Stone) is an aspiring journalist who seeks to reveal life’s perspective from that of the “help”—African American females in the 1960s who worked as maids in residential homes for very little salary.
Hilly Holbrook (Howard), a popular, well respected housewife, wants a bill prohibiting “the help” from using their bathrooms and requiring a second bathroom to be installed in each home for their own personal use. Skeeter, who feels otherwise, marks this as an opportunity to start a novel for what she hopes induces change.
Risking her family’s reputation, Skeeter enlists Aibileen Clark (Davis) and Minny Jackson (Spencer) to contribute their own stories and recruit other maids to get a wider perspective regarding their challenging lives.
Davis’ performance is of a unique nature. Her portrayal is that of a very strong, but emotionally exhausted woman. Aibileen is an African American woman who works tirelessly each day to serve those who refuse to see her as an equal and who are also responsible for the tragic loss of a loved one. Her inimitable struggles are difficult to relate to, yet Davis’ style demands understanding and sensitivity.
Minny is the sharp-tongued, clever maid whose persistence and brashness help recruit other maids to contribute to Skeeter’s novel. She is easily the most memorable character providing the audience with a large amount of laughs; Spencer delivers this expert comedic timing impeccably.
Regarding the “help”, their struggles are hard to fully comprehend, but the film’s use of characterization and pathos make one so emotionally invested in the film that it compels one to reassess what actions have been taken to help those facing discrimination.
Jim’s Rating: 9.9/10