Thanks to a Twitter contest a couple weeks ago hosted by Penguin Canada, I won a pair of advanced movie screening passes to The Help! I had just finished the book in June (my review here) and loved the book so much, I couldn’t wait to see this movie. Even when I just saw the trailer, it sent chills up my spine and almost got me teary-eyed (Almost. I find I’m a bit cold-hearted when it comes to crying at movies. :))
This movie was PHENOMENAL. There were a few slight differences between the book and movie (as many book-to-movie translations are) but I felt that they were so minimal that I hardly noticed. There were a few subplots that were sped along for the sake of movie storytelling, which I felt worked well and didn’t deter from the narrative at all.
The cast is so very talented. I didn’t necessarily have a look in mind for the characters when I was reading the book, but the mannerisms were mastered by all the actors! Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly Holbrook, Emma Stone as Rita Skeeter, and Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer brought so much life, love and humour to Aibileen and Minny. A few supporting characters were such a fantastic touch to the cast… Hilly Holbrook’s mother, and little Mae Mobley. Absolutely fantastic. Such a great female cast. (And that’s not to say the men weren’t great, but most of them had such a small role in the movie. The basis of the movie’s narrative really wasn’t about them.)
With a run time of a little over 2 hours, it felt like it just sped by. The laughs intermingled with the tears, with a very well-paced story. The audience was fully enthralled with what was happening onscreen. Tears, laughter, gasps and cheers could be heard constantly throughout the auditorium. My friend that I went with hadn’t read the book, and she said that as a standalone movie, it works. If you haven’t read the book, you still will understand and fully enjoy this film.
Oh! And as a side note for fellow True Blood fans… there are TWO from that cast in this movie 😉