It is always rewarding when a screenplay created from a book you have enjoyed and recommended hits the mark. The movie The Help does just that. I loved every minute of the film!
The Help, is the story of Aibileen, Minny and other maids in 1950s Jackson, Mississippi. ( See my earlier post in the GGR Archives) Aibileen’s life is the centerpiece of the film. Often in the translation to a movie, the importance of individual characters are repositioned and the plot is changed. Thankfully that did not happen with The Help. The book’s strong message remains in the film. High praise goes to Director Kate Stone who with equal creativity wrote the screenplay. Congratulations to Viola Davis ( Aibileen), Emma Stone ( Skeeter), Octavia Spencer, ( Minny) and the entire cast. Their performances were extraordinary. Not to be overlooked are the talents of Jessica Chastain ( Celia) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Hilly).
I hold to my theory that you will enjoy this wonderful movie even more if you have read the book, even easier now that it is out in paperback.
Prodigious praise to author Kathryn Stockett and Director Kate Stone!
Just as I had recommended that you read Water for Elephants before seeing the movie I am making an educated guess that the same will be true for The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Based on the number of weeks of the NY Times Best Seller List, many have already done so, but I believe it will make a huge difference in appreciating the movie. Go for it while there is still time!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett has been on the New York Times Best Seller List since its publication in 2009! The Help has enjoyed its incredible success despite an unfavorable initial review by the Times Janet Maslin.
This August, Dream Works releases the movie The Help starring Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone. Just as I suggested for Water for Elephants, if you are not one of the millions who have already read the book, do so before seeing the movie ! This may not be an easy screen play. There is no traditional love story as in Water for Elephants but the book is filled with villains, heroes, secrets, relationships, compassion drama and of course the underlying theme of race relations. Considerable material for the big screen.
I read The Help when the ink was barely dry and Stockett told her story with incredible insight! The Help and their struggles within an imposed social structure are vividly reflected in what in reality is a memoir. As in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, there is redemption!
Read the book and then see the movie. We will have answers in August! I am hoping for a blockbuster!