Ok, so ... back to the film ...
I was impressed by this article/interview with Viola Davis. I know very little about her except what I've seen in her performances, but she seemed to be someone with a lot of integrity and class. This confirms it, IMO.
My book arrived. I will start reading it tonight, but this whole week is going to be extremely busy for me, so it could take me a long time to read it. Most likely I will carry it with me when I travel to California, so I can read it at leisure.
Well, the results are in, The Help is a big success. This is a huge boost to Emma Stone's career, that she can carry a non-comedy movie and make it a success is a big deal. She's a huge talent, and I can't wait to see where her career goes over the next few years.
With all due respect to Emma Stone, I don't think she carried the film even though she was the axis on which the story turned. She was integral and a good actress, but it was the maid's stories that made the film what it was, and their acting that made it wonderful and kept me interested. JMO.
Absolutely loved this movie. I laughed, I cried ... amazing!
And ask yourself this, would she have escaped blame had this been a major flop? No, Emma would have paid the price. Obviously her next big film, The Amazing Spiderman, will be important to her career, but The Help showed that she can work well in small movies. And down the line that's going to be important.
Yeah, true. Good points. She most definitely would have taken the brunt of the blame if it hadn't done well. (Also, I love Emma, just didn't think she was the "best" out of the cast, even though she was good. Btw, just realized she plays the really geeky first girlfriend in the movie Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past with Matthew whatsisface.)
Still have not seen this, I saw 30 Minutes or Less instead last weekend. It was funny, a little obnoxious the first half, but it was funny overall. I would recommend that, but I do want to see this one as well.
Voidy Swan, Dirty Carmen, Perverted Moonlight Sonata. God I love figure skating!
I've haven't seen the movie or read the book, but I have spoken to many friends (black and white) who despise both and feel it's yet another lazy addition to the "White Savior" narrative that mainstream/Hollywood culture loves so much.
That's the exact impression that I got from watching the previews and, given that several people have confirmed that impression, I seriously doubt I'll ever watch/read the material.
I was a child when Evers was killed and my parents explained it to me then. I was horrified and for years equated the South with some sort of purgatory.
What I missed, of course, as a child, is that our middle-class family had a "mother's helper" -- a teenaged girl from North Philly who helped with housework and taking care of us. (Thank you, Lorraine, for teaching me the words to all the good songs in 1961, and listening to WIBG when you ironed.) Even after my dad died and we had not much money, we still had a teenaged girl on the weekends.
And when my mom and her sisters discussed matters on the phone in Yiddish, that nice girl, whomever she was at the time, was the "schwartze" -- the equivalent of "colored." Meaning my own liberal parents, horrified at Mississippi, had their own attitudes as well.
I explained this to my daughter after we saw The Help. She was surprised, maybe even shocked. Growing up in integrated neighborhoods in suburban Maryland, she seems to be as impervious to race as it's possible for a white girl to be. That cheers me up some.
"Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer
But Emma Stone wasn't supposed to carry the movie. Her role was to be there to provide the canvas for which all of the other stories were told. She was subtle, and I love subtle performances. She did her job to perfection.
Like I said, it's a compelling story, but I found myself feeling that this is a story for and by the Skeeters of the world, not for and by the Aibilenes and the Minnys. That's not a problem per se; obviously, I don't want to silence white people if they want to work through the legacy of Jim Crow through a novel. But, I think people should keep in mind that even though the story is written from the pov of three women, two of whom are black maids, the author has never been a black maid and she's only writing from her own memories and interpretations.
So, in that way, the book follows what many other books and movies do: it tells the story/experience of people of color through a white narrator. I don't think it's a bad thing, necessarily. I also believe that white (and all) authors should be able to write about whatever subject they choose and in whatever voice they choose. But, The Help is basically a fairy tale, and as such, I couldn't take the problems that the women featured in it (including Celia, and Skeeter's mom, for ex) face seriously. Novels shouldn't have to be serious, or, really true to life. So, I managed to enjoy reading it, even without taking it seriously.
This op-ed encapsulates my thoughts fairly well.
I'll probably watch the movie at some point.
I am saying no thank you to the book and the movie. That is until it comes on HBO about a year from now and I am flipping through channels and it's on and I have nothing better to do.
The reasons are just about what Orable said, the Hollywood or even Disney lacquered, glossy version of reality of the 1960s South. For the treatment of the subject matter that I prefer see I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
My opinion is based on the book, as I have not yet seen the movie.
Orable, you are saying it's a compelling story but then you list all the negatives. It's a novel, not non-fiction. The author explained in the book why the women didn't have to suffer for telling the story. You say that's not believable, but in Fried Green Tomatoes, did anyone really think they barbequed Frank?
It sounds like you would have taken this book more seriously if it had been written by a black women. I don't know why a white woman writing a book from her own life experiences is getting such scorn. If a black man had written this book, using 2nd hand knowledge from friends & relatives, would you think this book was more valid? It would still not be the author's own experiences. And btw, why hasn't this story ever been told from the black POV before? It's been almost 60 years since the mid-1950's
I am so sick of reverse racism. I was reading a review of this book & the article drifted on to the Black experience in Hollywood. Two things stuck out for me: the statement was made that even Spike Lee has great difficulty in finding financing for his projects. I thought, what does that have to do with race? There are black people with lots of money. It obviously means that white people aren't financing him due to racism. But if they did, would they would be put down as "white rescuing black" or would that be acceptable? The other example was Viola Smith talking about the lack of good scripts for black women. But who is she faulting for that? Black writers? I don't think so.
People are so dismissive of Kathryn Stockett, as though she is a talentless hack who is raking in the dough on the backs of poor black women. I guess it doesn't count that she got 60 rejection slips & did constant rewrites & kept going for years because she believed in herself & in this book. She thought this story needed to be told & IMO she didn't whitewash it but I guess she didn't make every white person in the story evil enough for some of you.
Oh really. I liked the book and movie very much and I disagree with much of the criticism, but it's not "reverse racism" to engage in that criticism. It's just criticism, which everyone has a right to make.