From Entertainment Weekly
The Help’s problems range from the cosmetic to the profound. It may seem nitpicky to note that the early-Amy-Irving ringlets on aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan seem to have been teleported from 15 years in the future, and that the white characters’ outfits are all too store-window new, their wigs too Hairspray bright.
The Help deserves real credit for venturing onto turf most studio films don’t go near, but told properly, its story should make audiences uncomfortable rather than complacent.
But for all its lazy thinking, The Help convinced me that sometimes, performances can achieve a much deeper reality than the story that contains them. That’s certainly true of what Viola Davis, one of our toughest-minded, least sentimental actresses, does with Aibileen Clark. Over the years — as a maid in Far From Heaven, a desperate mother in Doubt, a betrayed wife in Broadway’s Fences — Davis has created a gallery of women striving to hold on to rationality and pride even as the odds tilt against them.
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