When I was invited to a preview screening of The Help earlier in the year, I was unsure of what to expect. This may be easier to understand when one takes into consideration that Walt Disney Studios are responsible for the distribution of a film that is targeted at the older woman, the single hardest demographic to coax into cinema screens presently. Having read the book, (read review here) I knew the director had a lot to prove. As a fan I was wary yet excited at the evolution of this great book and the reception it's had worldwide. It is an unfortunate truth that Hollywood rarely makes the most of the projects it gets it's hands on, in terms of quality at least thus, the concern for an international bestseller making its way into the lap of Disney is an obvious worry.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. The film is a well-constructed piece that remains loyal to Stockett's text and demonstrates the fear, discrimination and seething hatred that seems to have been so apparent during the 1960's of KKK riddled Jackson, Mississippi in a clear and poignant way. In contrast to other reviewers critiques, I did not find the film overly sentimental or sappy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Tate Taylor is to be credited for the realism he has managed to instill in the direction and in the screenplay, which he adopted from Stockett's text. For me, there were several outstanding performances, especially Octavia Spencer as outspoken Minny Jackson, the maid who rises above her many unfortunate choices in employer.
See full review here: [...]