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The Help (2011)

Released:  Wednesday, August 10, 2011  
Length:  137 minutes
Studio: DreamWorks Studios
Genre: Drama
Rating: The Help is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

The Help Synopsis

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (star of the breakout hit, “Zombieland”) as Skeeter, a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives—and a small Mississippi town—upside down when she decides to interview he black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis (“Eat Pray Love”) stars as Aibileen, Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, who is the first to open up—to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories—and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly—and unwillingly—caught up in the changing times.

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The Help images are © DreamWorks Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Help Blu-ray Review

The Help Blu-ray Review
Now on Blu-ray/DVD The Help hits the street on Tuesday December 6th and it has all the ear-markings of becoming the hottest item of the holiday season.  My prediction for this film at the Oscars include nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, 2 Best Supporting Actress, Costumes and Musical Score.  It should do equally as well at the Golden Globes.  It's a period piece that has it all, excellent acting, fine direction and a storyline that will be hard to beat.
The story from a book by Kathryn Stockett takes us to a period in history where prominent Southern ladies spent their days at teas and community events while their maids did the chores and cooked the meals.  But, it's also a time where wrong versus right and segregation is at a new level of debate especially in this particular Mississippi town in the early 1960's.
The story centers on Skeeter (Emma Stone) who has just returned home after completing her college education at Mississippi State University.  Being brought up by a black housekeeper, she's familiar with the power of the local southern belles over the help.  A New York publisher gets a call from Skeeter about wanting to write a piece for his publication and the editor calls her back telling her that she wants something controversial and if she can supply it the story will get printed. When she writes a story about ‘the help', things start getting mighty edgy in the Southern town.
I like the way writer/director Tate Taylor spools his story out slowly delivering a lot of character build-up in this segregation drama. Featuring fine acting from the whole cast their characters are caring, loving, controlling, hurtful and rebellious making the story forceful and convincing yet entertaining.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A very realistic story and reminder of a troubled past shows great on Blu-ray (B+) Bonus Features (C) Overall analysis (B-)
I watched The Help in the Blu-ray format and it showed extremely well on my HD TV in the format that fits my entire screen. Filmed in the South during the lush time of the year, the cinematography picked up the gorgeous plantation surroundings, historical colonial interiors, shoddy homes of the maids and the garb of the Southern belles.
Feature Run Time: 138 minutes
Ratings: U.S.: PG-13/Canada: PG/Canadian French: G (Bonus Not Rated)
Aspect Ratio: Blu-ray: 1.85:1; DVD: 1.85:1
Audio: Blu-ray: 5.1 DTS HD-MA; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital; DVD: 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital
Languages & Subtitles: Blu-ray: English, French Canadian, Spanish
DVD: English, French Canadian, Spanish


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