The Help is an adaptation of the novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story told is how this book was written. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) just graduated college and wants to be a writer. While she has education and drive, she doesn’t have experience yet. After being hired at the local newspaper to respond to questions about house work/cleaning. Because of her upbringing, she really has no clue how to answer these questions and so she solicits the help of a friend’s maid Abilene (Viola Davis). It doesn’t take much time with Abilene for Skeeter to recognize how poorly “the help” is treated and something needs to change. Skeeter soon convinces Abilene and her friend Minny (Octavia Spencer), that they need to tell their stories so that people can see the injustices that they live through. This begins the risky and dangerous process of collecting stories about “the help” and trying to write a book they hope will change the world.
Picture and Sound:
The Help looks and sounds great. It has the quality that one associates with Blu-Ray presentation without looking too digital. This is good because however they did it brings the viewer into the story that takes place in the 60’s. The audio track for The Help was of equal quality and I have no qualms about it. It did utilize the 5.1 surround sound but seeing as this definitely isn’t an action film, it wasn’t all about fantastic surround sound effects. Overall I have no complaints about the quality of the presentation of The Help.
The bonus features that accompanied The Help definitely are weighted towards those who buy the Blu-Ray combo pack. Any of the bonus features with any meat are found there. There is a making of extra first: The Making of ‘The Help’: From Friendship to Film. This is slightly different than most making of featurettes, in a good way. It really is about the relationships that inspired and made this movie happen. It definitely is worth watching. Next comes In Their Own Words: A Tribute to the Maids of Mississippi. In this bonus feature, maids and their daughters are interviewed about the experiences of maids in the South in the 60’s. This is a very fitting and worthwhile addition to the movie. There were also Deleted Scenes including. I’m not a huge fan of deleted scenes but some of these worth worth watching. A music video is also included by Mary J. Blige called The Living Proof.
I must admit, I was surprised by The Help. I didn’t expect to like it. I had heard that it was a good movie however I’m the eternal skeptic on these things. Within minutes of the movie starting though, I was hooked. I won’t say I enjoyed this movie as there are parts that repulse me. However, it is a good movie that I’m glad that I watched. The parts I didn’t like are needed and they are a part of America’s history that shouldn’t be forgotten. This movie had it’s humorous moments, it’s heavy moments, and its poignant moments. You won’t want to watch it with young children but the older ones should be fine. If you have any doubt, preview it first. I do give a hat tip to The Help and encourage you all to go out and see this movie.. . Or since this is a Blu-Ray review…stay in and see it.