The Help (movie) does The Help (book) justice

The HelpWhen I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett earlier this winter, I couldn’t help but put it down. At the time I wrote my review, I was happy to see a movie was coming out – I just hoped that it could live up to the book.

Starring the amazing Emma Stone as Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan, the story takes place in early 60s Jackson, Mississippi where racist tensions are at their thickest between whites and blacks. ‘Skeeter’ is a recent university graduate who really isn’t fit for the small town living int the south, and is looking to make it as a big city journalist, or writer. After some advice from a New York editor at Harper & Row, she finds an issue she’s passionate about, and that’s giving a voice to “the help” of Jackson.

One of the first maids to help by providing stories for her book was Aibileen, as played by Viola Davis. It’s Davis, along with Octavia Spencer as Minnie, that steal the show. Skeeter is the one that gives them the platform, but they’re the ones that bring the life and personality to the story. They’re also the ones that help gather the rest of the maids to help make the book a reality.

Minnie is such a strong woman and Spencer plays her perfectly – I’d even say it was an Oscar-worthy performance. Every time she was on screen it was hard to pay attention to anyone but her. In an ideal world, I’d say Viola Davis also deserves a nod for her role – it would sure be more deserving than that nod for Doubt.

The evil Hilly Holbrook, as played by Bryce Dallas Howard, has already been added to a list or two of top movie villains, so it goes to show you how disliked she is. What’s unfortunate, and I’m sure I’m not exaggerating, is that there were many Hilly Holbrooks across the States and even Canada. The story played it off as if all the other housewives were just sheep to whatever Hilly had to say, but she was probably closer to the norm for how many thought at the time. That being said, she was a great villain and Howard played her just as I’d imagined when reading the book.

I was worried the movie wouldn’t do the book justice after watching a few of the overly lighthearted previews. In the end, I’d say the movie did a great job of mixing humor with the serious racial tensions of the time and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. If you’re looking for a story that explains the racial tensions of the time, but one that isn’t too heavy for kids to watch, then this is a great place to start the conversation. I highly recommend reading the book first, then checking this one out. I give The Help a 5/5.

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My choices for the Golden Globes

Award season is back, as the Golden Globe Awards are airing this Sunday, so of course that means everyone will be making their predictions about who will win, and I’m no different. I just want to say that I haven’t seen all of these movies, and some choices will have to be lucky guesses. Let me know what you think of my choices, and perhaps list your own favourites?

Best Motion Picture, Drama

The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

Best Director – Motion Picture

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy

Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy

Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone, Easy A
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

127 Hours
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
Inception

Best Animated Feature Film

Despicable Me
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3
Tangled

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful
The Concert
I Am Love
In a Better World

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Bound to You, Burlesque
Coming Home, Country Strong
I See the Light, Tangled
There’s a Place for Us, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me, Burlesque

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplot, The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahmin, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, The Social Network
Hans Zimmer, Inception

Best Television Series, Drama

Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
The Good Wife
The Walking Dead

Best Televison Series, Comedy or Musical

30 Rock
The Big C
Glee
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie

Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House

Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Hope Davis, Special Relationship
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
Chris Noth, The Good Wife
David Straithairn, Temple Grandin
Chris Colfer, Glee

Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Lea Michelle, Glee

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

The Pacific
Carlos
Temple Grandin
You Don’t Know Jack

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Ian McShane, The Pillars of the Earth
Édgar Ramírez, Carlos
Idris Elba, Luther

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Hayley Atwell, The Pillars of the Earth
Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Client List
Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
Romola Gara, Emma

easy A: Only form of payment is gift cards, please

Taking gift cards in return for fake sex, or sexual encounters in some cases, is probably not the best way to gain positive notoriety in high school. Olive, played by the amazing Emma Stone, realizes this the hard way in easy A (that rhymed!).

Last night, instead of watching the good ole Maple Leafs lose to those annoying Senators, I went with the girlfriend and other friendly folk to see Easy A.  I’m a big fan of Emma Stone.. oh and her work too, from her small-ish role in Superbad to co-starring with Mark Zuck… er… Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland.

This was one of those movies I wanted to see, but didn’t think I’d actually go to the theatres to see it. Needless to say I knew what kind of movie it was going into it, so my expectations for good acting and such, weren’t too high. I came out mildly surprised.

My two favourite characters in the movie were Olive’s parents played by Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) and Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under, The Green Mile). When I was looking for a picture of the two from the movie, I came upon a great interview with Tucci from Cinemablend describing his and Clarkson’s relationship. Pretty much every scene they were in had great chemistry and they were hilarious. Nothing less can be expected from two great actors, though.

Of course this movie boiled down to a romantic high school comedy, but it was done in a way that all audiences could get something out of it. It also showed the modern school, with references to the new generation posting every mundane action of theirs on Facebook, or Olive’s video being a live stream sent to everyone who ends up watching from their laptops and cell phones. I give easy A, a 4/5.

Oh and I forgot to mention: because of this song I now have Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocket full of sunshine stuck in my head.

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