Saturday, August 13, 2011

Read It Or Listen To It, Then See It. What're You Waiting For?

The Flick: The Help

The Peeps: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Alison Janney, Cecily Tyson, etc.

The Dealio: Based on the 2009 Kathryn Stockett novel (she also wrote the screen adaptation), this is the story of 'colored maids' in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi, interpreted through the words of Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan. Skeeter is a misfit: too tall, too awkward, too unclassically pretty, too smart and liberal for the tastes the the Junior League world of Jackson. Frustrated by her inability to wedge her way into a journalistic job, she accepts a post with a smaller paper, writing a cleaning column. Not much of a cleaner herself, Skeeter seeks the advice and council of Aibileen Clark, the maid for one of her sorority sisters, and the breathing, loving heart of this tale. What she winds up getting is a glimpse into the everyday lives of the black women who raise the babies of the white society folks. She also gets an education into the far-reaching repercussions of the law-mandated injustices of the time.

The Grading Session: 5.61 pengies out of 5. I was utterly taken by the charms and skilled vocal portrayals of the audio version of this book- imagine my surprise when I noted that Octavia Spencer, one of those involved in that audio, actually was cast to play the same role (Minny), in the movie! Bonus! From the start, this movie held the entire audience in its thrall: people-and yep, there were men in the theatre, too- were on board from the very first scene, laughing, cheering and crying in turn with each development. The soundtrack tapped into the vivid popular music of the time to set the table appropriately, so a real feast ensued. Oh, dear. Am I gushing? Well, yes. Yes, I am. Go see this one, and you will gush, too.

Quote Picks: "So bring all your old commodes to the Holbrook home." "You is kind, you is smart, you is special." "Some Mexican cocoa and a very special ingredient."

Lessons Learned: A terrific book CAN be made into a terrific movie. How 'bout that?!

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