It is very rare to find a movie where all the performers completely knock it out the park. There is always one misplaced actor who doesn’t fit in well with all the brilliance that is shining through. Whether it is a bit part or a main character, some just don’t pull their weight and ride on the coat tails of a far more capable actor. This being said, here is a film where everyone outshines and every second is a gripping drama held up by the ungodly talent of those involved. I am of course talking about The Help, winner of the Screen Actors Guild for ensemble cast.
The Help is one of those movies that is fantastically moving and heartfelt. Telling a gripping tale of the persecution of hard working maids in the sixties, The Help is an indictment to those believing they are a superior race. Using the maids as a babysitting service and not pulling weight of their own, these women are awful uptight housewives trying everything to keep their reputation. Great villain Hilly is just an example of the ruthlessness that one encounters when attempting to keep their reputation in tack and to keep one level above the help. When Skeeter comes in and challenges that, the cracks begin to show in Hilly’s and her gang of married socialites who push those who are different to the outskirts. It is a drama that is well written, establishing the wit and the deep stories, entwining them around emotion.
The Help is not about open racism, but about the racism within vindictive acts. No one outwardly chants their hate; they prevail in their pig headed belief that they are better. Putting down those of a different colour and running them out of jobs when the maids fight back, The Help is a film about courage during difficult times. It shows that lives can be turned upside down by rumours and spite.