Since Fr. Jim Martin, our culture editor, is away in the Holy Land researching his next book (follow him on Facebook for daily reports), I will highlight this latest film review by Michael V. Tueth, S.J.:
The Help is a film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling first novel about telling stories and the impact such tellings can have. This film tells a pretty good story, which, while not especially well told, is moving nonetheless.
After her graduation from the University of Mississippi in the fateful year of 1963, Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) moves back into the family mansion and finds a job writing a homemakers’ advice column for the local newspaper, a typical assignment for a college-educated white woman at that time. Skeeter sees the job as a first step toward her dream of becoming “a journalist or a novelist, or both,” as she describes it. She decides to draw on the “housemaking” experiences of a friend’s black maid, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis). She soon realizes, however, that she would rather write about how Aibileen and other maids see and feel about their lives and work in Mississippi in the sixties.
Interracial contact, however, is dangerous for African-Americans, legally punishable by imprisonment though more likely to spark vigilante violence, or even murder, by the White Citizens Council or the Ku Klux Klan. Aibileen enlists her best friend, Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), to join her in talking to Skeeter, who takes notes. Eventually, as abuses against the maids multiply in the town, more than a dozen domestics meet with Skeeter to tell their stories.
Read the rest here.