Great Movies Guys Won't Never See -- THE HELP
There's a reason why we can't take down Wall Street. It's called "mutually-assured destruction". They go down, they will not tumble off us...they will crash through us. We are the stilts that hold up the mechanisms that run our economy. The best we can do is expose each and every criminal on Wall Street for what they've been up to, and find it in ourselves to tell the whole system in general to get f-cked. If you're alive right now, chances are you're in the middle of a massive heat wave that has actually threatened to make pizza more expensive because of what the droughts are going to do to the dairy farmers. You might not think there's a man-made cause for this, but there is. Our crooked energy policies. And everyone who insists on being part of any form of society that's presented in front of us just as long as they're part of it. With the proper guts, we can change all this. The system is after all...other people just like us. People don't like to be exposed and embarrassed, and this is what we have to present to them as a possible consequence if they don't back the hell off. These are not private individuals. It's not blackmail. And it's something that the new movie "The Help" understands better than any movie that's out today. Entailed in this film is a very literal blueprint for how we can make things better. We just need to have the kind of balls exhibited by the leading ladies.
"The Help" takes place in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60s. At the time, the Ku Klux Klan, just like they do today, was masquerading as a socially acceptable, button-down group called the "White Citizens Council". A total bitch named Hilly has proposed an initiative to make it law that each home come equipped with a separate restroom for their black maids because she can't bare to "catch their diseases". If you've never seen the Help, yes, this is EXACTLY what the plot surrounds. Toilets. And the stuff within. Such as bitches like Hilly and her friends.
Emma Stone plays Skeeter, a graduate of Ole Miss who wants to be a writer. She takes a job at a local newspaper in Jackson, and has a bit of an agenda...the black house maid who worked at her home for 29 years, the woman who raised her, was fired by her mom played by Allison Janney. When Skeeter was growing up, it was not her mom, but the house maid who always saw her through the toughest times. One time none of the boys asked her to the dance, and Skeeter was thus left with the double whammy of self-doubt AND having to tell her mom that none of the boys asked her to the dance. Her mom, like most parents, are actively living vicariously through their kids and are immature enough to think that anything their kid does or chooses is reflective on them personally. Does it occur to most of these parents to tell the grape vine "f-ck you bitch"? Nope. Yet it was the house maid who told Skeeter that very thing. F-ck em. I'm a black woman in Mississippi and have been one for going on fifty years now. Do you think I let what people say get to me?
And so Skeeter is now left with former friends who are now grown up as well and have kids of their own, and only one of them happens to not be a vile racist pig. That woman is played by Jessica Chastain who has a bit too much sex appeal for the racist ladies to handle. One night long before, Hilly's husband had wanted to do her, and this is the basis for a good strong communal hate towards her that will only escalate as the film's event's unfold.
Octavia Spencer, who won as Oscar for this, plays her maid by the way, and it's the only situation we see where a white woman and her maid are actually friends.
So anyway, Skeeter launches a revenge mission against racist Jackson womanhood by beginning a book called "The Help", a collection of stories told from these maids' point of view. She begins with glowing accounts by Octavia and Abilene because they both worked for Hilly and have plenty to say about it. But then after Medgar Evers is killed, the number of maids volunteering to speak up multiplies ten fold. These white ladies, fancying themselves superior, can't even properly execute the traditional southern woman's role in the house. Because it's only about keeping up appearances and nothing more. It is the maids' jobs to do everything from toilet train their kids to teach them manners to prepare dinner for their husbands without burning everything. Some of their mistresses are so out of line that they actually make them part of inheritances in the will. In their minds, they own these black maids for life.
There comes an incident where Octavia actually shits in a pie before giving it to Hilly, and not telling her what makes said pie so delicious and rich before she's eaten almost half of it. It's the key incident that will make Jessica Chastain's character a permanent outcast...she brings over a pie to Hilly just as something to bring to a dinner party...and then tells her "I'm sorry, I thought you liked pies, darling!" without knowing what Octavia had done.
Things end up stolen and the maids are always arrested for it. Hilly almost does the same to Abilene until Abilene points out that "I've been told I'm a good writer, and being in jail will give me plenty of time to write about you."
Hilly doesn't want people to know she ate s-hit, and with the maids having something on her, they finally have something to neutralize these nasty bitches.
As Abilene is leaving, the little white girl she was taking care of since she was a baby throws a fit. Please don't leave, please don't leave....which sets up a future where we might just have more determined women like Skeeter.
More by this Author
By now Arnold is older. An aspiring photographer ala Scoop Brady. The year is 1986 and Different Strokes is in it's farewell season, still appearing on ABC's Saturday night prime time line-up just behind Mr. Belvedere....
East L.A. is what happens when you take Mexico and infect it with the desire to eliminate it. That's East L.A., and the characters of this great, great, great film, personified. East L.A. is a part of California that...
One of the great cinematic injustices was what occurred following the completion of the epic "Blood In Blood Out" (1993). I refer you to Sylvester Stallone and Al Pacino to illustrate my point, Sly...
No comments yet.