Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer of 'The Help' | DreamWorks

I haven’t paid much attention to ‘The Help,’ because it sort of sounds like another ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ which was a good movie but I don’t really need to see it again with different faces. And if it’s not ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ maybe it’s an Oprah movie — a dramatic story about race and society and doing the right thing and…zzzzzz….

But after learning more about ‘The Help’ and watching the featurette below, I can see it’s neither ‘[amazon_link id=”0790730987″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Driving Miss Daisy[/amazon_link]’ nor an Oprah movie. It just looks like a really good movie about an interesting time in our country’s history. The featurette actually gave me goosebumps, and as Jennifer Lopez says on ‘American Idol,’ you can’t buy those.

‘The Help’ is written and directed by Tate Taylor, who doesn’t have a ton of directing credits, but helmed the award-winning short film ‘Chicken Party’ and played Mike Satterfield in ‘[amazon_link id=”B003EYVXTG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Winter’s Bone[/amazon_link],’ one of my favorite movies from last year.

the help movie
Allison Janney and Emma Stone of 'The Help' | DreamWorks

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Emma Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a small Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who’ve spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families.

Aibileen (Viola Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration, and soon more women come forward to tell their stories. As it turns out, they have a lot to say.

‘The Help’ arrives in theaters Aug. 12, 2011, and it’s rated PG-13 for thematic material. Take a look at the featurette and tell me your thoughts. Does it look like an Oprah movie? And is that even a bad thing?


  1. I read the book and loved wit. Can’t wait for the movie! Just watching the trailer made me realize what a great story it is.

  2. I’ve not read the book. having grown up in the deep south, I always have reservations about films on the civil rights era, so I’ll be interested to see this.
    also, I wonder if you, Jane, or any of the commentors know the music of Caroline Herring? Mississippi native who has done some fine songs on the at times uneasy history of the south. has me thinking this movie could be the occasion for another post about her work over at Music Road…


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