Book into Movie: “The Help”

Just got back from a 12 noon showing of “The Help” in Southern California and it’s taking me some time to blink my way back to reality. Yes, it’s sentimental, but so was the book. In fact the movie, a very faithful adaptation, might be better than its source. And you may have heard by now how good Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are. “Magnificent” would be another word you could use.

About carolwallace

I spend most of my time writing and reading. Most recent publications: the reissue of "To Marry an English Lord,"one of the inspirations for "Downton Abbey," and the historical novel "Leaving Van Gogh." I am too cranky to belong to a book group but I love the book-blogging community.
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2 Responses to Book into Movie: “The Help”

  1. Christy Summerfield says:

    I read the book, enjoyed it, and was moved by it until I began to hear the enormous backlash against the book and film among the community of black female educators and others in the country against what they claim is the stereotyping of black maids in the south in the 1960’s. I’m greatly condensing the outcry here. I realize this isn’t a political site but am wondering if people are being influenced by the politicalization of this novel and film. No one I’ve heard, by the way, has said anything about the performances of the black actresses except that they were great performances but demeaning roles for these exceptionally talented black actresses.

    • carolwallace says:

      Yeah, Christy, I’m aware of the backlash. Only two things to add to your thoughtful comment:
      1– I can’t help thinking that any civil discussion of racial matters is good. We can’t pretend inequities didn’t exist, can’t pretend people’s attitudes weren’t wrong. Let’s discuss, if we can, to reach mutual understanding. Of course this is really hard in our currently polarized cultural environment.
      2–As you say, this is not a political site. I’m primarily interested in narrative. And in purely narrative terms, I thought “The Help” functioned well in both book and film versions.

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