Directed by: Tate Taylor
Starring: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer
Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell,
Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures
Running time: 146 minutes
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I missed this film in its original theatrical run and I know now I made a big mistake. In this summer’s mostly lackluster films, this one is easily stands out as one of my favorites, if not of the whole year. The acting in the film is beyond amazing and award worthy. I have never read by novel Kathryn Stockett but I am sure it is amazing if not better than the film. I honestly thought the running time of almost 2 1/2 hours was going to get to me but I feel that it honestly flew by and was very entertaining. The Blu-ray presentation is fantastic and includes clear and crisp 1080p video and a sharp DTS-HD Ma audio track. The release also contains the a DVD of the film as well which is a great feature. Overall if you haven’t seen this film I would pick it up for sure and pick up one for your friends also.
The film is about a young white woman, Skeeter (Emma Stone) who forms a strong relationship with two black maids (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer) during the 1960’s. She decides to help these women and writes a book from the point of view of the maids in hopes to expose the racism they deal with working for white families. The performances in the film are just unbelievable. Viola Davis is more amazing than ever, she deserves an Oscar no question. Octavia Spencer is outstanding and also deserve props for her role. Bryce Dallas Howard plays a really wicked baddie and definitely earns the hate from the audience. She was simply fantastic. Lastly Emma Stone was also charming and shows that she has some great acting chops.
The special features on the disc are mostly exclusive to the Blu-ray. Firstly there are about ten minutes from five deleted scenes. They are decent and feature some more character and plot points and also an alternate ending, which is more a downer. There is a great featurette called “The Making of ‘The Help’: From Friendship to Film”, it covers the directors and author’s life-long relationship and also going in depth in the making of the film. Another featurette is including called “In Their Own Words: A Tribute to the Maids of Mississippi”, it is very moving and deals with personal accounts from Taylor’s family. Lastly there is a music video from the amazing song by Mary J. Blige called “The Living Proof”. It is a very strong song and packed by footage from the film.