Didn’t read the book, but loved the movie. Despite its two and a half hour length and a large diet coke, I didn’t go to the bathroom once! This has inspired my new movie rating system, measured in bathroom trips, with no bathroom trips being my highest rating.
Viola Davis, as Aibileen, will surely rate a Best Actress nomination. In one classic scene, she is required to get off a city bus because of a public disturbance and falls down as she runs to her friend’s house in fear, where she learns that Medgar Evers has been shot nearby. In Bill Clinton’s words, “you feel her pain”. Octavia Spencer animates the role of Minnie, her proud but sassy friend who provides some of the lighter moments. Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of director and former Opie Ron Howard, establishes herself as a talented actress in her own right in the difficult role of racist Hilly Holbrook. Emma Stone, cute as always, is primarily a vehicle for others to tell their stories. My only criticism of the casting is Alison Janney as her mother and former beauty queen Charlotte Phelan, who has neglected Emma as a child because she was an awkward ugly duckling. They have these roles reversed. I find it hard to accept Alison Janney as a former beauty queen. Nevertheless, overall, the cast, acting and story drove The Help to the top of my summer movie list, above Midnight in Paris.