The Help

Poster for the movie "The Help"

The Help (2011)

PG-13 146 min - Drama - 9 August 2011

Aibileen Clark is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson is an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.

Director:  Tate Taylor

Photos

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Storyline

Aibileen Clark is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson is an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.


Collections: Tate Taylor

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Language:  English
Release Date:  9 August 2011

Box Office

Technical Specs

Runtime:  2 h 26 min
by Ginger

This parental guide to the movies explores a controversial movie that will take the viewers back in time, to a time many still remember. It is the 1960s and Skeeter is in the upper class of a Mississippi Town. She returns from college and decides to become a writer. In the process, she breaks all of the social rules when she decides to interview black women who work for prominent southern families. The black women open up about what their life is like. This shakes both black and white society because the blacks consider themselves to be a tight knit community. Both Skeeter and the women who decide to tell their tale to her place their lifelong relationships at risk. However, soon many other women come out and begin to tell their stories and when they do, they realize that times are changing for good. The women and Skeeter change the dynamics of the little Mississippi Town and it will never be the same again.

It was rated PG-13 due to the thematic material contained in the movie. It is a drama and the main themes center around exploitation, racism, and many of the ideals that were held during the 1960s about the class society that existed between upper class whites and lower class blacks in the South. This thematic material was the key reason for rating it a PG 13.

Many children may find the actions taken towards the black maids to be shocking, such as being fired for using the wrong restroom. However, the shock can be good if followed by conversation about what times were really like back then. It is an excellent opportunity to share with your children your own experiences during this tumultuous period in time. This movie has social value that goes beyond the big screen and should be seen as part of a history lesson. For those of us who remember those times, even if we were quite small, we will see that this movie is accurate, even in the minor details. This movie is an excellent conversation starter for bridging the generations.

This family movie review considers The Help to be a deep and touching movie that brings the viewer closer to the characters and perhaps to each other. The movie finds humor even in the midst of societal oppression. Controversial topics such as the Jim Crow Laws and other racist ideals of upper class society can be found in this movie. However, the way they are presented is written for the modern viewer and makes the charactersäó» actions seem absurd by modern standards. For instance, when a character says that laws need to be passed that there must be a separate restroom for the black employees, Skeeter comments that perhaps the other upper class white character should use a separate bathroom in the backyard as well. The movie takes many stereotypes from the time and makes them appear absurd through the character of Skeeter.

The maids in this movie are strong characters who eventually gain the courage to tell their story and change lives. This family movie review somewhat agrees with the PG-13 rating because the theme of this movie deals with some heavy topics. However, this movie makes several relevant historical points, many of which have been lost with younger societies. It really takes you back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and has excellent value in trying to convey the essence of that time period. It reminds us of how far we have come from where we were then.

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