The Help

Rated 3.0

Set in Mississippi during the ’60s, a college graduate (Emma Stone) interviews black women who have been working as maids and raising other people’s children for many years. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are both excellent as two maids dealing with rampant racism and a crazy lady (a slightly overcooked Bryce Dallas Howard) who is leading an initiative to build separate bathrooms for the maids. While not everything in this film works properly—it’s full of stereotypes and overacting—Davis and Spencer make it worth seeing, as does Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) as a rich Southern woman who actually treats her maid/employee with great respect. Not a great movie, but certainly a good one.