Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Jayar, Aug 13, 2011.
Go see this movie. It is a beautiful portrait and tribute. Saw it last night, and I was moved.
I went to see Stupid, Crazy Love (loved it) and saw the previews, hopefully I make it to another movie,esp. since the lead is Amy Stone and I loved her in the other movie.
I saw The Help last nite too, and loved it. Really kept to the book. The acting was great, and the cast looked as I pictured from the book. Friend had not read the book and loved it too. Applause at the end of the movie.
I read the book a month ago. Saw the movie a few days ago. The movie does a decent job sticking to the book but I don't know what I am missing here because I found neither the book nor the movie as outstanding as the reviews they are getting. The person I went with expected to be more wowed by the movie than they were ( they hadn't read the book). I think maybe for me neither the movie nor the book really committed to their theme, in some ways I felt it a bit glossed over.
My husband and I both enjoyed the book, and we both loved the movie when we saw it this afternoon. The cast and the setting were just as we had pictured. Applause at the end at our theater, too.
The trailer here made it seem kind of 'Disney' and I was reluctant to go.
I'm glad you liked it. I read the book and was completely engrossed [couldn't put it down!]
I could totally feel while reading the book how scary it was to step out of line if you were Black in 1960s Mississippi.
Does the movie capture that?
I would say no, but then I didn't feel the book captured that either
I haven't seen the movie but I'm surprised you think the book didn't capture the "fear of stepping out of line". The beating of the young man who used a "white" restroom didn't do it for you? The maids' reluctance to tell their stories?
I've seen other movies and read other books about these issues that made a huge impact on me. Cried, cringed and been in awe of the courage people showed in the civil rights times. Many have tackled that and did an incredible job making me feel the reality of those times. For me the book and movie did not come close to doing what so many had done before them.
I can understand those feelings but not everything in those times was so dramatic and cringe worthy. Many people went about their lives quietly and yet were still courageous.
Of course. But I was responding specifically to taf2002 saying it was surprised that the beating of a man for using a white toilet didn't do it for me (which, by the way, I felt was casually thrown in to back up why the maids were afraid to come forward.) All I will say is that after reading THIS book I found myself thinking it'd be really interesting to read a book written by the black maids.
Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread I've read reviews of both in many places,, roughly 8 out of 10 love it. The lonely 2 out of 10 are with me scratching my head wondering how this rated up there with To Kill a Mockingbird, a comparison I found insulting to Harper Lee
I recently read that the author is being sued by her family's former housekeeper. It seems the housekeeper is angry that the author drew upon her life story without her permission.
Reading the book right now and can't put it down....looking forward to the movie. Great to hear your review
I read this as well...of course, Stockett has denied all of the accusations. I'm supposed to go see it Wednesday. I have mixed feelings about it, but will try to reserve my judgment until I've seen it. There was an interesting column in Essence magazine where two writers with opposing POVs discussed seeing it/not seeing it. My curiosity outweighs any reservations I have about the movie.
I admire Viola Davis, and would watch anything she was in. I think she's beautiful and talented.
Every time I see the preview I think this movie looks absolutely dreadful.
Just looks like a really bad movie to me. Not sure why. It is not something I would want to see and that white chicks hair is truly
I had seen the trailer about 2 months ago. I am planning to see this movie.
The trailers are terrible -- very misleading. I liked both the book and the movie a lot, and thought the movie really captured the spirit of the book.
(I realized some time after seeing it, though, that they left out the incident where Skeeter accidentally leaves her bag where the other Junior Leaguers can find it. Had they kept that in, it might have helped to show just how high the stakes were.)
I read the book about a year ago and really don't have a desire to see the movie, although, like Rex, I am a big fan of Viola Davis. For me, movies have a tendency not to live up to the original story and it's such a disappoint if I've already read it.
When I was reading, I had to put the story in perspective and remember the time and place in history to understand just how important it was these housekeepers and this young girl told this particular story. The risks were enormous and knowing that and still doing it anyway, knowing there might not be any reward, only punishment if caught is something that most of us can't perceive. This was 50 years before tabloid/reality tv where you could sell your story to the highest bidder and live pretty good life off the celebrity/profits of it.
I was engrossed in the book because of the plot. It wasn't particularly well written. It was far from award winning.... It the plot was what kept me engaged. That's why I am not too interested in seeing the movie...because I know how it ends. I appreciate the author's point of view to racism--it's one I never thought of before reading the book. I learned something.
It's supposed to look that way, for at least part of the movie.
I just read the book on the recommendation of an African-American friend and co-worker, and she let me know before my reading it that she would be interested in my opinion. I think that it's a good read, and some of the experiences of the help were new to me, while others were quite familiar (I was a small child in the era of this book, and my mother's mother had "help").
It was a bit of a letdown to me in that some situations seemed thrown in as "feelgood" moments rather than as organically flowing from the plot, and a lot of the Celia storyline just didn't make any sense at all (but maybe that was supposed to be Matty's view of it as well).
I don't know if I want to pay money to see the movie, but will probably catch it on cable at some point.
I saw the movie today and it was wonderful! Loved it. My Mom loved it too. Theater was packed(but I'm also in the south, so maybe that has something to do with it). Highly recommend it.
I though they really captured the gravity of the time, well. Bryce Dallas Howard did a great job being a complete bitch lol. I hated her. The whole cast was great.
Today's a perfect day (a rainy and dreary Sunday) to catch a matinee and I may see this. Sounds like a good movie.
My daughter sent me the book with instructions to read it before we saw the movie yesterday. I highly recommend the book. If it does nothing more than capture the feel of that era, it has done its job.
Not very often do I see a movie based on a book I've already read, because I am nearly always disappointed in the movie. Like BigB08822, I thought the previews were dreadful. My impression from the trailers was that the movie somehow "dumbed down" a horrible, scary, yet pivotal time in our history and inserted laugh tracks in the place of abject terror.
The movie was better than the trailers. I was moved at times, especially by Viola Davis' performance.
So glad this thread is here. I really loved this book, but didn't really want to see the movie as the previews make it look like a comedy. Not that there weren't comedic elements in the book, but it was NOT a comedy. I'm glad that so many people read the book liked the movie. Looking forward to going to see it.
I have not read the book but couldn't wait to see the movie. I had seen the trailer.
Some spoilers ahead.........
I enjoyed the movie a lot, except for one part that grossed me out. I am not fond of that kind of humor. Those who have seen the movie will know what I am talking about. Is it in the book too?
A few things did not seem realistic. I thought there was a lot of violence against blacks those days, but the movie does not show any. Not that I am fond of watching violence, but it did not seem realistic. These women were taking such a huge risk. What kind of dangers did they face, besides the legal document we saw in the movie? How did they manage to protect themselves?
Skeeter- the white young woman- went to college at Ole Miss, not to a school in New York (for example). What made her so different from the rest of the women? Her love for her maid who brought her up, or was she just more intelligent than others and questioned the status quo? Probably both, and something more. It was not really clear from the movie or from the acting. May be the book explains it?
The scenes of Mississippi were gorgeous. I spent a couple of months in Mississippi one summer, during my college days, and have some fond memories of it, but I am not black and it was not during the era of this movie, so the Mississippi I saw was a bit different, I think.
The acting has to be the strongest part (besides the story itself) of the movie. Viola Davis is awesome and should get an Oscar nomination. What surprised me the most was Bryce Dallas Howard- what a good actress she is when she has the material to show her skills. As the meanest character in the whole movie, she made me hate her. Octavia something who played Minnie and Jessica Chastain as the rich, ignorant, but good hearted Celia were also very good. She was in the Tree of life, in a very different kind of role....definitely a very talented actress. I had never seen Emma Stone in a movie. She is charming and portrays Skeeter really well. BTW the actor who played her date/boyfirend is really good looking. I don't recall seeing him in any other movie.
This movie just goes to show how far we have come as a nation.
I want to see it with my mother, who grew up in New Orleans and was raised by an African-American nanny she called Mama because her mother was absent. It made me so sad when my mom would tell me about how her nanny was her mother, not her actual mother.
I should read the book too.
So true. I was thinking of the change in times while reading this book - simple things like Oprah saying goodbye to her talk show as one of the most powerful women in entertainment, President Barack Obama, even something as simple as watching the dancers of all races dance together so beautifully on So You Think You Can Dance. Never could a woman like the women in the book have imagined such things... and yet, there is still so much more that needs to change.
I just finished the book and once started, I could not put it down. I'm very excited to see the movie.
And, the little note at the end of the book by the author is a lovely tribute to their family maid. I can't believe the family is suing - I personally thought it was a very moving tribute to the woman who raised her - and others who worked in white homes in the South during that time.
Now I feel like running to the nearest Barnes & Noble to buy the book and read it.
Do! I think you'll get a better feeling of the times and the understanding of the characters.
I think your reality is a bit skewed in this case. I lived those times and while there was certainly discrimination and violence it wasn't like you seem to think - it was much more insidious and targeted.
Some critics have accused the filmmakers of downplaying a lot of the violence and cruelty inflicted on those who dared defy TPTB in the Old South. Like it was glossed over. Is that the impression you got?
Yeah a bit. In reality Minnie would have been killed for what she did. But I guess the goal from the start was not to put too much reality in the movie.
The cruelty displayed in the movie was about not letting the maids use the toilets in the house. However, I am sure much worse things were happening those days and were being ignored by the authorities. You don't see much of that in the movie. So I have to agree with the critics, but I must admit that I have no first hand experience or knowledge through reading about those times. I am just guessing.
I thought they captured it well, without showing the actual violence.
They showed police brutality at one point when one woman was arrested and got hit on the head with a police baton.
The movie wasn't about all the brutality, though. It was about The Help. Their stories. It touched a lot of people in the theater I was in. Many of them, including myself, were crying.
Emma Stone pulled off a perfect performance for me. She was strong enough as a lead to make me interested in her character, and she was selfless enough to let the actresses who played the maids tell their stories. Viola Davis is one of those rare actresses that can move me without saying a word. This performance was subtle and beautiful. I personally think that Octavia Spencer will be getting an Academy Award nomination, and Bryce Dallas Howard is really starting to prove that she is a strong actress. Jessica Chastain's character tore a hole in my heart. I loved how the character had zero issues with race. She saw people as people. Two lines that I will never forget from the movie...
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
Minny don't burn fried chicken.
There is another about pie that I won't mention here, but it was LOL worthy.
You should read the book and I suggest a bit of history as well. I've lived in the South my entire life and have never known anybody to be beaten or killed because of race. I'm not saying that didn't happen, but the incidences are rare. Most people just lived their lives. They didn't walk around waiting for someone to beat them. And your comment about why the author (in the book and movie) went to Ole Miss rather than an eastern college is also a good opportunity to enlighten. The white women in the book were as much a victim (although that isn't really a good word) as the black. If you were from Mississippi and your family had any money, you were expected to attend Ole Miss, find a husband, and join the Junior League. This was true all the way through the 70s and to some extent still is. Carolyn Haines' funny mystery series explores the concept of the Daddy's Girl very well and how women were trapped in the cultural framework. And, just for the record, there were/are racial issues on the East Coast. And there were *colored* and white restrooms everywhere. Ths was the norm. And keep in mind, the jobs provided by the White families were all that were available and kept many Black families fed. It's not as if there were other jobs available for Black or White women for that matter.
The book is OK. Haven't seen the movie so I can't comment. I'm most impressed by the book because my hair stylist has never been a reader and he's reading it. And really likes it. Any book which gets a non-reader to read is good.
Living in the south, I still work with people who use the word "ni**er" to describe black people. I can't stand it. They think it's ok because they don't mean "all black people." I work in a redneck dominated industry, though(unfortunately).
When we moved to North Carolina in 89(although I was born in South Carolina and have only not lived in the south a total of about 4 years), there were still occasional cross burnings by the KKK. Although it's funny, because my friend who lives in MA, said the racism is almost worse up there because so many people don't come into contact with black people on a daily basis. They can pretend they're not racist, because they aren't faced with their own judgments on a daily basis.
Feeling considerably more optimistic abou the movie after reading the discussions here. I loved the book, and was skeptical that they'd do a good job of the movie. I try very hard not to compare the two -- that way lies madness -- but the film does have to stand on its own merits. And it sounds like it does ... so yay!
BTW, I learned long ago to never judge a movie by its trailers. They're often terribly misleading. I try to avoid trailers altogether.
No, not everywhere. My mother grew up in Pennsylvania, went to school in Minnesota, and then lived in California and Ohio. And she never saw a "colored" restroom or drinking fountain in her life till she got married and my dad was stationed in the South. She still remembers the shock it gave her when she started seeing them.
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