Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Like the novel on which it’s based, the movie adaptation of 'The Help' will likely be a huge hit with white audiences. But for black viewers it is condescending and frequently insulting, despite admirable performances by Davis and Spencer, who bring a measure of complexity -- actual flesh and blood -- to the characters of Aibileen and Minny. It speaks volumes about the ongoing racial chasm in this country that a feel-good movie for white people will leave many black filmgoers feeling sad -- and pessimistic that America can ever become anything more than 'a nation of cowards.'"

-- From Valerie Boyd's review of The Help, titled "A Feel-Good Movie for White People," in

By the way, if you feel like reading a firmly contrasting review -- in other words, one dripping with effusive praise and almost certainly written by a white guy or girl -- this one's pretty amusing.


toastie said...

EW's Owen Glieberman:
Yet one of the scrupulous pleasures of The Help is that there isn't a caricature in it. Every woman on screen is fresh, live, and three-dimensional

The Help has a saucy, humorous side.

The latter quote sounds like Michael Scott's description of Stanley on The Office.

Chris said...

I found Valerie Boyd's review to be crap. It's very easy to look back and say that characters should have stood up to the system. It would have made for a MUCH shorter movie, as they would have been shot.

I found the movie to be less about black/white issues and more about empowering women of all races. [spoiler... but really, are any DEM readers going to see this?] Skeeter goes off to NY w/out a husband, Minny leaves her abusive husband, and Aibileen proudly believes she can be more than a maid, that she can be a writer.

Maybe if Tyler Perry's Madea were cast a role--she could have kicked everyone's ass single handed... provided they didn't shoot her.

Anonymous said...

My black co-worker let me know about this - she loved the book & is enthusiastically looking forward to seeing the movie.

The last movie I saw was Julie & Julia - so you can wager money on whether or not I will se this film.

Steven D Skelton said...

Valerie Boyd seems to be pissed that they didn't make the movie she wanted them to make.

Reminds me of some of the reviews of "The Blind Side."

Chez said...

That movie sucked, too. And if you're black, I'd imagine it could actually be construed as mildly offensive -- if not simply insultingly pedestrian.

Steven D Skelton said...

The blind side did suck, but not as much as the outrage around the movie.

If someone is offended by a true story being told as close to how it happened as Hollywood ever does...I just don't concern myself with their offense.

White people helping black people is offensive? Fuck whoever thinks that.

The Wamplers said...

When I first started reading The Help, I was like "OMG, this is SUCH a caricature of black/white race relations..." but after a few chapters, my opinion changed. My family had "help" in the 70s, and this is kind of an accurate picture of how things were. I hope that my grandparents treated Maude well, they seemed to and she was so sweet to us, but who knows what her perspective was.

I wouldn't dare speak for all black people, but I do know several black women that have seen this movie and they loved it and praised it for its accurate portrayal. I haven't seen the movie yet, but based on the book, it's easy to think that things weren't really like that and that the story is a puffed up version of reality, but I think it's pretty dead on.