27 December 2011

17 Dec - "You done burned every bridge there is"

The Help (2011)
dir. Tate Taylor

Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life, 2011)
Viola Davis (It's Kind of a Funny Story, 2010)
Becky Fly (The Last Exorcism, 2010)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Eclipse, 2010)
Dana Ivey (The Addams Family, 1991)
Allison Janney (Piccadilly Jim, 2006)
Ashley Johnson (What Women Want, 2000)
Brian Kerwin (27 Dresses, 2008)
Ahna O'Reilly (Nancy Drew, 2007)
David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, 2006)
Sissy Spacek (Tuck Everlasting, 2002)
Octavia Spencer  (Never Been Kissed, 1999)
Mary Steenburgen (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993)
Emma Stone (Zombieland, 2009) 
Cicely Tyson (Fried Green Tomatoes, 1991)
Mike Vogel (Cloverfield, 2008)

I watched The Help with my Aunt Holly and my stepmother, Sarah, back on our trip back to Philly from Athens when winter break started. Aunt Holly said that watching a movie together was our new tradition. Luckily, this movie was a lot more family-friendly than the last movie we watched together.

The Help was interesting for me to watch because I sort of empathized with Emma Stone's character as an a sort of anthropologist. In fact, what I was most afraid of about anthropology was that it meant i would become a person who takes things away without giving anythign back in return. Which was the big risk that the main girl was taking. Her informants, the maids, had everything to lose, while the writer had everything to gain. There is still a power differential there even if Emma Stone's character is still super well-meaning and nice.

Of course, in the movie everything works out for the best. The maids are not lynched and they get a portion of the book profits and the snooty white socialite is thouroughlly chagrined, even if she doesn't actually reflect on her ways. This is very rare in reality, where the rule of unintended consequences almost always reigns supreme.

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