The Help

Not rated yet!
Director
Tate Taylor
Runtime
2 h 26 min
Release Date
9 August 2011
Genres
Drama
Overview
Aibileen Clark is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson is an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.
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  • The Education of Janus Adams
    PJ Media First, full disclosure: I have neither seen the movie The Help nor read the novel on which it is based. But I am wondering whether I should bother, as both have seemed to provoke a reaction of rage and resentment among many professionals in the race industry, and the last thing I need is to have my entertainment remind me of this debauched quarter of our society.The general tenor of this rage is that The Help somehow glosses over (shall we say “whitewashes”?) the more sordid aspects of black females’ service to whites in the pre-Civil Rights South. It is true that before the 1960s, many black women were kept in a state of semi-indentured servitude as maids to Southern white families, and it almost goes without saying that a book or film would not be an adequate rendering of that type of humiliation, unless the objective is to drown the audience in Passion of the Christ-like levels of sadism.What I found most interesting, however, is that one needn’t have seen or read The Help to know that many of its critics are dishonest frauds, and that their criticism is more about confirming their own paranoid views of whites than about redressing any deficiencies in the book or movie. A perfect example of this crudity is a recent column by historian and commentator Janus Adams in Newsday, in which she decries The Help, in both its literary and cinematic form, as something that falls tragically short of depicting “the pain and the promises we fought for.”Adams is a black woman, and if this were her only complaint about the The Help, maybe we should listen to her. Any “dialogue” on race, however, soon turns into a monologue. Adams packs her column full of every charge and slander and innuendo that she can muster. For instance, she subscribes to a quasi-conspiratorial theory as to why The Help is not as accurate as it could be: this is “hardly a coincidence,” Adams writes, since “the country is rife with revisionism” due to the “political havoc” created by those (i.e. white non-leftists) who oppose President Obama’s policies. As an example of this denialism, Adams mentions that the Republican leadership opened this year’s Congressional session by reading the Constitution, and in doing so “expunged all mention of slavery from the text.”There’s nothing to expunge; the Constitution in its present form doesn’t mention slavery, except to ban it. The three-fifths clause (designed to weaken the power of the slave-holding states) is no longer valid. The document contains two things called the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments, which outlaw slavery and ensure equal protection under the law, respectively. Republicans read both those amendments. We are supposed to believe, however, that reading aloud an explicitly anti-slavery document such as the Constitution (which all presidents, black and white, have sworn an oath to defend) is an indication of pro-slavery sentiment.Unsurprisingly, Adams indulges an overt racism of her own, which she flaunts proudly since there are no consequences for it. She begins one paragraph thus:“As the writer of histories of African-American women and the Civil Rights era, I was prepared to dislike the film. The book’s author is a white southerner writing for black women, so I knew that neither the book nor the film would tell the story as I knew it from serious research and personal experience.”Adams was “prepared to dislike the film” simply because the author was white, a fact that, to her, precluded any possibility of the story’s being genuine or accurate or based on “serious research.” Adams leaves out the fact that the book’s author, Kathryn Stockett, was herself raised in Mississippi by her family’s own black “help” and therefore brings at least some authentic insight to the table—and perhaps a bit of empathy.Let’s say I wrote a column saying that I was “prepared to dislike” anything Adams wrote, since I knew instinctively that she, being a black woman, would either distort or ignore things for her own interests. Would I be published regularly in a large daily newspaper as the resident racial healer?I feel unoriginal even asking it. These types of questions have become a cliche, but that’s only because they have yet to be answered intelligently. Such hypocrisy is no longer simply overlooked in discussions of race; it is demanded. The race industry cannot sustain itself without two sets of standards; indeed, it is based on the idea that standards are at best something to be molded by one’s “experience” and at worst a construct of the white bourgeoisie.Licensing hypocrisy has meant that there is no limit to the odiousness that can be spoken by one side in the name of race. Thus the demands of the race industry are Sisyphean as well as ever-expanding. If The Help had never been written, the column inches would have been devoted to decrying the absence of books and films on the experience of pre-Civil Rights black women. Now that such works have been done, the complaint is that the attempt to do the subject justice is itself another indicator of white malice.Adams declares confidently: “We know this truth, too: Few of the black actresses portraying maids in ‘The Help’ will be offered roles as anything but.”This is quite an extraordinary claim, and its bombast matches its stupidity. A glance at the Internet Movie Database shows that each of the black women starring in The Help has had careers that nowhere suggest the tendency toward serfdom that Adams predicts for them. One of the actresses, Viola Davis, is a Juilliard graduate who has had a recurring role as a defense attorney in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The film also features Cicely Tyson, a highly accomplished actress with a career stretching back to 1951. So far as I can tell, she never played a maid even before the Civil Rights Act was passed.Hoping one of her slurs sticks well enough to fool even the dumbest reader, Adams also avers: “On this Women’s Equality Day, there are still many homes where privileged white women employ women black and brown to tend their babies—women conscripted by the inequality of options open to them.”As one of those evil white revisionists, I should like to recast that last sentiment: On this day, there are still many newspapers where privileged black columnists indict millions of people whom they don’t know—columnists conscripted by the hypocrisy of the industry they serve. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-education-of-janus-adams/ ]]>
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  • Obama's Battle Bus from Mordor, off on the Magical Misery Tour
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll At the Tatler, Bryan Preston writes:As President Obama embarks on his three-state "jobs" bus tour, Minnesotamajority.org is greeting the president with a welcome... var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Obama's Magical Misery Tour', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); You're paying for this tour -- it's a taxpayer funded political campaign. And the optics of the whole thing are so bad that even Chris "Tingles" Matthews has problems with it.As does the BBC, which once had posters of Bush as Hitler in the office, and all but thought Obama walked on water back in 2008.But the BBC has a modest Magical Misery Tour connection of their own. As a made-for-TV movie that first aired on the BBC in 1967, the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour was their first great film flop after A Hard Day's Night and Help. The Beatles thought they could direct their own movie, rather than bringing back Richard Lester, then at the height of his career. But at least they had enough common sense to to make sure the film's main prop was brightly painted in the psychedelic colors of the time. In contrast, who chose the funereal black paint for Obama's Misery Machine? Ultimately though, The Bus Stops Here; Obama signed off on it."Obama's battle bus no symbol of hope," Mark Mardell of the BBC writes, in a Drudge-lanched item:US President Barack Obama has embarked on his first bus tour in office.But his vehicle for the trip through the rural parts of three Midwestern states looks like it really is heading for a battle.Big, blocky, black, with painted-out windows, it looks more like a police mortuary van than a symbol of hope arriving on your street.It is a ponderous business campaigning when you are president, all that need for protection and the weight of office on your shoulders."Neither inspirational nor angry enough, he needs something fresher -- and to find another mode of transport than the battle bus from Mordor," Mardell concludes.Which brings us to Timothy Furnish's recent item at the PJ Lifestyle blog: "The Middle-Earth Guide to Campaign 2012."Both urge resistance to the Dark Lord….wait for it…George Soros. (Sorry, making Obama the “Dark Lord” would not only send a thrill up Chris Mathews’ “racism” antenna, it would give BHO far too much credit.) “Soron” hopes to seize the Ring of Debt for himself in order to transform the Middle-west and the rest of America into Mordor with a view — also known as Greece. Soron is, however, a bit distracted at present with this $50 million lawsuit brought by a Witch Queen.Obama, then, is relegated to the role of Saruman — trying to be in charge, hoping to seize the Ring for himself, but really only doing the Dark Lord’s bidding: undermining capitalism, hosting Haradrim religious dinners at the White House, and playing golf on Sunday mornings.When he's not inside the world's most ominous looking motorcoach.Update: "This is the funeral procession for the economy," one YouTube commenter writes in response to this video of the Magical Misery Tour passing by the Ford dealership (the one American car maker not a division of Government Motors) in Zumbrota, Minnesota. Remember, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. "That's not leadership. That's not going to happen:" var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Obama @ Zumbrota Ford', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Update: Welcome Washington Examiner readers. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2011/8/16/the-magical-misery-tour/ ]]>
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  • My Picks for the Most Overrated and Underrated Movies of 2011
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle I blame my old co-worker Jeff for April and I not seeing many theatrical movies in 2011. He was the one who turned us on to the long-form TV shows that have started popping up in recent years. (That he also persuaded us to switch to a plant-based diet -- the subject of his blog -- is a story for another article.)Why go to the trouble of driving out to a theatre -- or even walking the 10 minutes down the block for us -- and paying money for a two hour film when we had three discs' worth of top shelf, entertainment crack like The Wire or Battlestar Galactica or Dexter right at home? A plot starting and wrapping up in 2 hours was boring. We were hooked on narratives that took multiple seasons to develop characters and plot arcs.And once we got a new Blu Ray player with Netflix streaming built in, it was even worse: over a hundred commercial-free episodes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad available on command. Meanwhile, the unwatched episodes of HBO shows like Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire just kept piling up on the DVR.So of the top 30-grossing films of the year, April and I only made it out to see six of them in theatres -- Harry Potter Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Help, X-Men: First Class, and Horrible Bosses. Now check the Tomato Meter critics average of any of those movies and personally I'd say each is about right. The one we liked least -- Horrible Bosses -- is a 69% which I'd equate to a C, the grade the film would earn if I was still a film critic. (It just wasn't that laugh-out-loud funny or memorable. In the Age of Apatow it falls short but still maintains a handful of redeeming features.) The Help is one that my wife April adored but I found merely pleasant and watchable. Rotten Tomatoes says it's a 76% -- about a low B or B- perhaps which also makes sense. Harry Potter was both the year's highest grossing film and one of it's highest critical successes -- a 96% fresh rating, and definitely an A in my estimation. (April would probably argue for an A+.)The past few weeks via Netflix we've started catching up on some of the "big" movies from 2011 which did not inspire us to abandon the couch. We watched two more of the top 30 box office hits from this year. The big surprise is that so far they're breaking the pattern and decisively not meeting the critical and cultural consensus. A film we anticipated would be a disaster actually wasn't that bad and a movie we eagerly wanted to see was a let down.We'll start with the good news first. My pick for most underrated film of 2011. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/1/21/my-picks-for-the-most-overrated-and-underrated-movies-of-2011/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • Selma and the Sanctimony of Liberals
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    PJ Media It’s always interesting to witness the sanctimony of liberals (usually Democrats) when their narratives of history are challenged by those they say they “helped.”  Thus it has happened with the movie Selma, which has focused negative attention on President Lyndon Johnson, so much so that my Google search for “Lyndon Johnson” brought up as the second entry (after the first Wikipedia entry) a Hollywood Reporter article.The film’s director, Ava DuVernay, has said she did not want to follow other movies such as The Help that present whites as “saviors.”  But Joseph Califano, Johnson’s “top assistant for domestic affairs,” charged in the Washington Post that the film “falsely portrays President Lyndon B. Johnson as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr. and even using the FBI to discredit him, as only reluctantly behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and as opposed to the Selma march itself.” Califano even claimed that the Selma march was Johnson’s idea.Other commentators also made corrections.  Three days before the film’s Christmas Day release, Politico ran LBJ library director Mark Updegrove’s long feature that asserted that LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr. were “close partners” in reform.  Post columnist Richard Cohen rushed to Johnson’s defense and reported that director DuVernay had the temerity to call Califano’s assertion “jaw dropping and offensive.”  Then in what Cohen called a “brush off of a tweet,” Duvernay advised getting the true historical account by “interrogating history”--by seeing her movie.But it seems that all bases need to be covered, and on January 5, 2015, the Post published another article, this time about a “quiet battle” Johnson as vice president waged in 1961 as he and his wife challenged restrictive real estate covenants of their “elite” Northwest Washington neighborhood, “The Elms.”  The reporter, Karen Tumulty, must have searched for this nugget. But she saw no irony in the fact that the anti-poverty future president with a penchant for social engineering was motivated by the fact that “diplomats from African nations . . .  found it difficult to find suitable housing.”The Post has published well over a dozen articles on the movie. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/selma-and-the-sanctimony-of-liberals/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Zero Dark Thirty: One of the Best Films of the Year
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'ZERO DARK THIRTY - Official Trailer - In Theaters 12/19', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Zero Dark Thirty marks a cinematic breakthrough into the realm of journalism. Just a year and a half after the Navy SEAL assault that brought Osama bin Laden’s life to a bloody conclusion, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow has brought the story to the screen, using extensive research and aid from the White House. President Obama evidently thought this film, which has a gripping documentary feel, would be released before the election and make him look good, but it turns out he was wrong on both counts. Zero Dark Thirty (military slang for the wee hours of the morning when the attack took place) makes Obama appear somewhere between irrelevant and counterproductive in the intelligence mission that led to Bin Laden’s demise.Young star Jessica Chastain, who last year got an Oscar nomination for The Help, gives another awards-caliber performance as a 30-year-old CIA agent named Maya who has spent 12 years tracking Bin Laden, ever since she was recruited out of high school. At CIA black sites in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she actively participates in brutal interrogation techniques including forced sleep deprivation, beatings and waterboarding. These procedures are shown as essential to learning of the existence of a courier, Abu Ahmed, whose trail would eventually lead to Bin Laden’s fortress-like lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan.President Obama is referred to obliquely as someone who demands factual certainty (without which, it is implied, he won’t give the go-ahead for the assault, which is worrisome enough) but doesn’t appear in the film except in a clip from a real-life news program. In the clip, Obama is shown disavowing torture, which would seem to pose a major obstacle to the CIA agents watching him on television. They know too well that meddling from politicians who have no idea how difficult it is to obtain intelligence from career terrorists could easily nullify their efforts. Obama comes off looking like a weak, oblivious fool who places his own preening above the national interest. Like I said: This movie is practically a documentary. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/12/20/zero-dark-thirty-one-of-the-best-films-of-the-year/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Do We Really Need Another Spider-Man Movie?
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Amazing Spider-Man New Trailer 2 Official 2012 [1080 HD] - Andrew Garfield', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); The Amazing Spider-Man is amazingly similar to 2002’s Spider-Man. But it’s a perfectly enjoyable and competent summer blockbuster, and though I’d estimate about two-thirds of this film’s DNA comes from the earlier one, it’s fun to notice the small differences between the two Spideys.This time it’s UK-bred actor Andrew Garfield (whose American accent is, as far as I could tell, flawless) who plays high school loser Peter Parker, a dorky photographer constantly bullied by cooler classmates but who attracts the notice of pretty Gwen Stacy (The Help star Emma Stone, blonde this time). Peter pursues the unfinished genetic experiments of his scientist father (Campbell Scott), who disappeared one night and left him in the permanent care of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen, slightly overdoing the doddering act) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Those experiments take Peter to the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (veteran Brit actor Rhys Ifans, still best known for playing Hugh Grant’s wacky roommate in Notting Hill), where, in one of the film’s many groan-inducing coincidences, Gwen also works. Despite heavy security at the super-secret lab, Peter sneaks into the unguarded inner sanctum where he learns more about experiments meant to regrow human limbs -- Dr. Connors is missing an arm. It's here that he's bitten by a genetically altered spider.The usual sequences of discovery of super-powers follow, and there’s even a scene with Peter getting the idea of wearing a costume from accidentally falling into a wrestling ring that features masked combatants. But to me Spidey 2.0 is more interesting than the likeable goody-goody played by the mild Tobey Maguire. First, Peter Parker has been picked on for a long time, and turning the tables on his tormentors gives him a license to act like a jerk himself for a while, for instance in a scene with the bully Flash (Chris Zylka) on a basketball court, where Parker’s arachnid grip and reflexes are simply used to humiliate the other boy. Peter is even unforgivably rude to his guardians. Making Peter less sweet and innocent makes him seem more human and real, and I think we’ve all seen that teens are fully capable of being arrogant and obnoxious. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Spider-man Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/6/30/do-we-really-need-another-spider-man-movie/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • 2013's Top 10 Oscar Contenders
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); The Oscars won’t be given out until March, but Oscar season is already well underway as studio flacks hold parties and special screenings intended to sway voters. The leading contenders so far are:10 and 9. American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall StreetBoth films make the list solely because of the track record of their respective directors, David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) and Martin Scorsese. Unlike all of the other movies on this list, these two haven’t been publicly shown yet. Scorsese is still editing his Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film about finance-industry debauchery and isn’t expected to be finished until the end of November.Russell says his movie, which stars Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence in a drama about a 1970s political scam, is almost ready. American Hustle is due in theaters Dec. 18, Wolf a week later.Likely Oscar nominations: Best Picture? class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/11/15/2013s-top-10-oscar-contenders/ previous Page 1 of 9 next   ]]>
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  • Disney's Rich Ross: The Rise And Fall Of An Entertainment Mogul
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle After two and a half years at the helm of of Walt Disney Studios, Chairman Rich Ross, 50, stepped down on Friday. Ross' departure comes on the heels of the high-profile failure of the sci-fi/fantasy epic John Carter. The $250 million film, which Disney hoped would be the year's first blockbuster, only earned $269 million worldwide. After distribution and marketing expenses, John Carter's dismal take equals a loss of $80-120 million for Disney.Ross issued a statement attributing his departure to the idea that he wasn't the right man for the job:"The best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities," he said. "I no longer believe the chairman role is the right professional fit for me."Disney CEO Robert Iger also released a statement praising Ross and wishing him well:"Rich Ross's creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key businesses for Disney," Iger said. "I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney, and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next."After stints at Nickelodeon and FX, Rich Ross came to Disney in 1996, where he served as vice president of programming and production, and he rose to president of Disney Channels Worldwide in 2004. As head of Disney Channels Worldwide, Ross was responsible for such brands as Playhouse Disney, Disney XD, Jetix, and Radio Disney.Ross helped Disney Channel become the kids-and-tweens juggernaut that it is today. He launched the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise, which spawned enormous hits like the High School Musical and Camp Rock series. Radio Disney became a stepping stone for pop music success. Under Ross' leadership, Disney Channel produced phenomenally successful shows like Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Phineas & Ferb, and Wizards of Waverly Place. Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) increased its dominance under Ross as well. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/4/21/disneys-rich-ross-the-rise-and-fall-of-an-entertainment-mogul/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • The Help
    DramaComedy We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewSometimes what you plan to do and what actually happens are two very different things. Take the case of Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan. When the recent college grad returns to her hometown of Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, she's not looking to challenge the status quo or stir up trouble. But she does anyway. It begins when she gets a job at the local paper penning the weekly cleaning advice column. Skeeter doesn't know much about cleaning, so she asks her socialite friend Elizabeth Leefolt if she can talk with her black maid, Aibileen Clark, about the subject. Questions about getting stains out soon lead to deeper inquiries: "Do you ever dream of being something else?" Skeeter asks Aibileen. "What does it feel like to raise a white child?" They're questions born of Skeeter's precocious nature and her penchant for treating Aibileen as an equal, not simply as "the help." And the answers are so compelling Skeeter sends them to an editor in New York whom she hopes to work for someday. The editor promptly tells her, "Get more stories." Skeeter's enthusiasm to share the secret stories of the maids, however, is about as far removed from the attitudes of her peers as it can be. Elizabeth starts to get nervous that Skeeter is talking to Aibileen—really talking to her—too much. And then there's Hilly Holbrook, a self-righteous defender of Jackson's racially divided status quo, to contend with. So it's no surprise that Aibileen isn't sure she wants to share much more of her story—let alone recruit other maids to tell theirs. Especially against the idea is Hilly's feisty, backtalking maid, Minny, who, ironically, doesn't need any help from Skeeter when it comes to stirring up trouble. But as racial tensions mount (including the murder of a civil rights leader), Aibileen, Minny and scores of other maids decide the time has come to let Skeeter write their stories. And when Skeeter's book The Help is published anonymously, well, let's just say that Hilly Holbrook is none too happy about it.Positive ElementsThe Help is an emotionally compelling film that lifts the veil on a group of industrious, longsuffering maids persevering through years of service to white employers who frequently treat them as subhuman. Hilly's cruelty, for example, is evident in the way she demands that separate outhouses be built for the maids—they need to "take their business outside," she opines—even helping to sponsor a bill that would make such treatment required. That's not positive, of course. But it is just one of the many ways the film reveals the plight of a people who are separate but definitely not equal. Despite such prejudice, Aibileen exercises remarkable tenderness in the way she raises Elizabeth's daughter, Mae Mobley. In addition to tending to all the household's domestic duties—cooking, cleaning, buying groceries—Aibileen is devoted to the toddler, telling her, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important. You're so good." Those messages stand in stark contrast to the ones handed to Aibileen from her white employer. Skeeter, meanwhile, represents the possibility of a new way, a new day in which blacks might be treated as respected equals. Skeeter risks her reputation to capture these women's stories—and hearts—in her writing, and she's determined to see the task through. A subplot gives us an additional glimpse into Skeeter's motivation. When she returns from college, she learns that the aging maid who had faithfully served her own family for decades, a woman named Constantine, was no longer there. Skeeter questions her mother, Charlotte, regarding her absence, but Mom refuses to tell her what happened. In the end, the painful truth is revealed, and we see that Charlotte harbors many of the same racist attitudes of those around her. Unlike many of those folks, however, Charlotte sees the error of her ways, regrets her cowardice and stands up for Skeeter's convictions. "Courage sometimes skips a generation," she tells her daughter. "Thank you for bringing it back to our family." In a flashback, Skeeter remembers a lesson Constantine taught her when she was bullied and labeled ugly. The older woman tells her that ugly isn't something on the outside, but "something that grows up inside of you." She tells Skeeter that she has a decision to make: "Am I going to believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?" And regarding her future, Constantine tells her, "As for you, you're going to do something big." Another subplot involves a woman named Celia Foote, who hires Minny as her maid after she's fired by Hilly. Celia treats Minny kindly, even as an equal. And Minny is initially wary, but eventually a friendship grows between the two. Minny reciprocates Celia's kindness by helping her when Celia has a miscarriage. Spiritual ContentThe maids' perseverance is shown to be directly related to their Christian faith. Aibileen talks about how she keeps prayer journals and says that she writes out her prayers for an hour or two each night. Near the end of the movie, she says, "God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth." And tell the truth she does, eventually confronting Hilly, saying, "You scheme and lie. You're a godless woman, Miss Hilly." Still, there's talk about the need to forgive. And Minny says she's confessed and asked for forgiveness for a particularly nasty prank that she plays on Hilly. "I done ask God to forgive me," she says. At a church service, the reverend delivers a sermon from Exodus, emphasizing the importance of doing right despite the weakness of the flesh. He also talks about Jesus' love for us and says that we, likewise, must be willing to put ourselves in harm's way for others—for our brothers, our sisters, our families and even for our enemies. Regarding the death of her son in an accident at work (after which he was brusquely dropped off in front of a hospital), Aibileen tells Skeeter, "It took God and Minny to get through it." Several times we see a picture of Jesus hanging next to Aibileen's photo of her deceased son. A conversation about perseverance includes the repeated phrase, "If God is willing." We hear frequent—and reverent—exclamations of "oh Lord" and "Lord have mercy." Not all references to Christianity are flattering, though. Especially since Hilly claims to be one. When her new maid (after Minny is fired) asks for a $75 loan so that she and her husband won't have to choose which of their two boys go to college, Hilly refuses. Then she adds, "As a Christian, I'm doing you a favor. God don't give charity" to those who can earn something themselves.Sexual ContentCelia, a dead ringer for Marilyn Monroe, frequently wears outfits that reveal quite a lot of her breasts. Home for a lunch break from work one day, her husband kisses her aggressively and grabs her backside, suggestively talking about how "hungry" he is. Skeeter's mother is concerned about her daughter's laissez-faire attitude toward men and marriage, and wonders if she might be a lesbian. That word is never used, but her mom does talk about a certain root that's supposedly able to cure women of their unnatural desires. Skeeter and her boyfriend, Stuart, kiss a couple of times. She and her mother are shown in slips as they try on a dress.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentWe hear a violent argument between Minny and her husband, who's obviously throwing things. Later, Minny has a black eye. Celia tells her, "Give it right back to him and tell him to go straight to hell." A maid who's stolen a ring and pawned it is forcefully arrested. When she resists, we see a police officer's baton come up to strike her before the camera shifts to the winces of her friends. A television newscast reports the shooting of a civil rights leader by a KKK sniper. We also hear of a car being set on fire for racial reasons. Celia suffers a miscarriage in her bathroom, and we see the floor, her clothes and her hands covered with blood. Afterward, she buries her baby in her yard and plants a rosebush.Crude or Profane LanguageSix or seven s-words. Two obvious misuses of Jesus' name and nearly 10 of God's name. Four times God's name is paired with "d‑‑n," a word that is uttered other times as well. Whites spit out "n-gger" a handful of times. Other profanities include "a‑‑," a‑‑hole" and "h‑‑‑."Drug and Alcohol ContentVirtually everyone, Skeeter included, smokes. And in a self-conscious wink at people's attitudes toward smoking during that era, Skeeter's boss says, "I guarantee you one day they're going to figure out that cigarettes kill you." Social drinking is almost as frequent as the smoking. Many scenes picture (white) people downing mixed drinks or martinis. A would-be-suitor for Skeeter is obviously drunk, and he keeps ordering shots. Celia is likewise inebriated at a socialite event.Other Negative ElementsHilly concocts a story about Minny stealing something to justify firing her. Later, Hilly's new maid finds a ring behind a couch and does steal it. After Minny's fired, she returns with a pie that Hilly interprets as a peace offering. As she's eating her second piece and talking about how wonderful it is, she asks what secret ingredient Minny uses to make it taste so good. Minny informs her that the "secret ingredient" is in fact her excrement, twice saying, "Eat my s‑‑‑." After learning of Hilly's pie experience, several people (including her mother) meanly make fun of her. Skeeter plays an unkind joke of her own on Hilly, writing that anyone who wants to donate an old commode can drop it in her yard (an offer quite a few people accept). And speaking of commodes, we see a child and a couple of women using them. (They're all fully covered.) Skeeter's mother makes a disparaging comment about her daughter's "Mexican man shoes." Stuart leaves Skeeter after he finds out she's the author of The Help.ConclusionSince it was published in 2009, Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel The Help has become a sensation—both in terms of the rapturous praise heaped upon it and the criticism coming from some who question whether a white woman could do justice to the stories of black maids. But Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple, certainly doesn't fall into that latter camp. Entertainment Weekly reported that she feared the story would just be picking at old scabs. But when she finally read it, she was moved by its "healing response to a lifetime (really lifetimes) of injustice and hurt." Likewise, Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain activist Medgar Evers, said at a recent NAACP screening of the film, "They captured the times." She also added, "If we look seriously at what is happening in America today, there is a need for that knowledge, there is a need for that connection. There's a need for seeing the spirit and determination of those people." The Help is indeed a story of spirit and determination, illuminating the profound dignity of a group of intelligent and hardworking but severely marginalized black women. Likewise, Skeeter Phelan's determination to treat these "lowly" maids as real human beings, as people of worth instead of just hired help, is equally inspiring. Especially for those who've grown up after the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, The Help offers an eye-opening look at the injustices that many if not most blacks in the South had to endure daily. It also shows some of the right ways (as contrasted by some wrong ones) to deal with that kind of day-to-day struggle. The only fly in the shoofly pie is that there's just enough profanity, including s-words and harsh misuses of God's name, to put off viewers who might otherwise be interested in engaging with this kind of powerful, inspiring story.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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Armond White2
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Ma’s Black-Mammy Stereotypes Capture the Illiberal Spirit
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In this revenge satire, Octavia Spencer gives Hollywood the cliché it deserves.
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  • Charles Burnett Honored for Black Misery
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Filmmaker Charles Burnett was awarded a career-achievement Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this past weekend. Who’s Burnett? That fair question is part of the Oscars’ ongoing problem, but it’s also part of film culture’s ongoing political crisis. Burnett is an honorable filmmaker whose movies fill the gap left by the racial exclusion of Hollywood studios that refuse to depict black American lives to any regular, authentic, or imaginative degree. But honoring him does not redeem the Academy’s current lack of popularity or relevance. Few people have seen Burnett’s best-known films: Killer of Sheep (1976), which was inducted
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Kyle Smith6
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Proof that #OscarsSoWhite was a total overreaction
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    david oyelowodenzel washingtondiversitylupita nyong'oMoviesnate parkeroscarsoscars 2016oscars 2017will smith “Oops.” “Nevermind.” “Sorry we brought this up.” “We were wrong.” Surely that’s what last year’s Oscar protesters will be saying next winter, because it looks like last year’s Oscar blackout was an anomaly. Next year, by all appearances, will be the year of #OscarsSoDiverse. After last week’s Toronto Film Festival, many films about black life have emerged as serious Oscar contenders. “Moonlight,” a coming-of-age story about a young black boy in Miami struggling with his sexual identity, was hailed as a triumph that could win nominations and awards, maybe even the Best Picture Oscar. Footage from “Hidden Figures,” a feel-good movie about black women working at NASA in the 1960s that has been called “The Help” meets “The Right Stuff” and stars Taraji P. Henson and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, also earned raves. So did “Loving,” another fact-based historical drama, this one about the 1958 case of Mariel and Richard Loving (Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton) that resulted in the Supreme Court finally backing interracial marriage. As did “A United Kingdom,” in which David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike play a prince from Botswana and a British typist who fall in love in 1947. “12 Years a Slave” star Lupita Nyong’o is being touted for another Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in “Queen of Katwe,” about a Ugandan chess champ. Meanwhile, Denzel Washington is starring in and directing “Fences,” which hasn’t been screened yet but is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning August Wilson play and is expected to be a strong awards contender when it’s released in December. And then there’s “The Birth of a Nation.” It’s a highly acclaimed film about the Nat Turner-led slave uprising in 1831 Virginia that way back in January sparked Oscar buzz at the Sundance Film Festival for its star, co-writer and director Nate Parker, although subsequent revelations that Parker had been tried and acquitted in a 1999 college sexual-assault case brought by a woman who later committed suicide have dampened enthusiasm for the picture. Oscar voters are being reminded that other artists with morally dubious records have won awards and the film earned standing ovations at the Toronto Film Festival, where attendees were well aware of the news about Parker’s past. SEE ALSO No, George Clooney, the Oscars aren’t racist George Clooney is absolutely right: The Oscars don’t look like... So, next year’s Oscar slate could include as many as five or six or seven films with black protagonists, all of which were in development long before last winter’s outcry. So what was all that fuss about in January, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences engaged in a public ritual of self-flagellation over the lack of black nominees? The social-media protests left the academy scrambling to institute a huge affirmative-action program, extending invitations to hundreds of members of minority groups, including some who seemingly have had little impact on the motion-picture industry (America Ferrara? Really?). The program is boosting minority representation in the AMPAS from 8 percent to 11 percent in one year. Chris Rock delivered a hilarious opening monologue as host of the 88th Oscars, saying “Why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards. Which means this whole ­no-black-nominees thing has happened at least ­71 other times.”EPAYet all last year’s Oscar slate proved was the existence of statistical noise. In a country in which blacks are about 13 percent of the population, it isn’t surprising that the number of black nominees for acting prizes might sometimes be zero (as it was last year) and sometimes be five (as it was in 2004). Blacks are statistically over-represented in some categories (four of the last 10 Best Supporting Actress winners) and under-represented in others (only one Best Actress winner ever). Overall, things pretty much even out, at least lately: if you look at the last 15 years, 10 percent of acting nominees have been black, or almost exactly the same representation as you’d expect (blacks composed 12 to 13 percent of the US population in that period). Besides, why would the same group of people — Oscar voters — have suddenly turned racist between 2013 and 2015? In 2013, black artists won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress and the Oscar for Best Picture for “12 Years a Slave.” ‘Hollywood has never been more interested in telling stories about blacks than it is right now.’ Last year was simply not a particularly strong one for black cinema. Activists complained that Will Smith wasn’t nominated, but his film “Concussion” was a critical and commercial flop. “Straight Outta Compton” was expected by some to get a Best Picture nomination, but that film was made more for entertainment than art. “Beasts of No Nation”? A brutal, hard-to-watch film about African civil wars that grossed a paltry $91,000. The seventh “Rocky” movie “Creed” also had many admirers, but sequels rarely get Best Picture nominations (seven in the entire history of the Oscars). No fifth, sixth or seventh installment of any franchise has ever gotten a Best Picture nomination. Maybe the #OscarsSoWhite campaign made the Academy take a good hard look at itself, and maybe that’s a good thing. There still aren’t many black (or female) directors. But the protesters missed what was happening right under their noses: Hollywood has never been more interested in telling stories about blacks than it is right now. Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
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  • Oscars Drinking Game!
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Note: I was asked to write a story suggesting a drinking game to go with the Oscars. The story would have appeared in last Saturday’s Post but it was pulled at the last minute due to breaking news–the release of teacher evaluation scores in New York City. The Post killed the entire features section to run a special pull-out section with a couple of dozen pages of teacher data, as a public service. So here is the story that didn’t run. Hed: A drinking game to get you through the Oscars Deck: A shotful of alcohol helps the Oscars go down SUNDAY night brings us the 84th annual Academy Awards, and once again the world’s attention will be focused on an expressionless little man who has been a Hollywood fixture since the 1920s. But enough about the surgically tightened Billy Crystal — let’s get to the real issue. Who will win? Answer: If you’re watching the ceremony on ABC, not you! Hence the need for an Oscar drinking game to make this year’s nine-hour exercise in excruciation either fly by on wings of alcohol or end mercifully early with you snoring face-down on the couch. Follow The Post’s handy-dandy guide on how to react to the evening’s woefully predictable events while watching at home, and in the morning you’ll remember nothing. Don’t you wish you’d thought of this last year? (Oh, the red carpet starts at 8 p.m. eastern time, opening monologue is at 8:30 p.m., presentation of nominees for Best Sound Effects Editing in a Short-Subject Documentary from 8:45 to 11:15). •For each shot of double-nominee George Clooney in the audience looking smug: Drink mai tais, in honor of his Hawaii film “The Descendants.” Drink, damsels, for the fact that you’ll never be his girlfriend. Drink, squires, for the fact that you’ll never be him. Toast your vanished glory days, if you’re old. Toast a future that can never possibly work out as well as his, if youth’s blush is still upon you. Matter of fact, your best bet is to just turn off the TV and go sob quietly in the corner. See also: “Moneyball” nominee Brad Pitt. Repeat next fall at the Emmys, only with Jon Hamm. • For each image of cast members of ‘The Help” including nominees Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, drink buttermilk. And help yourself to a nice rich slice of chocolate mousse pie. So gooey and thick … so hearty. Yum! •If host Billy Crystal at any point bursts into song: Drink. Note that this is not an official part of the drinking game. It is simply a medically advised anaesthesia technique. You wouldn’t undergo advanced hernia surgery sober, would you? •Silent movie jokes: There will be a lot of them. Apparently there’s a silent movie nominated for Best Picture this year. It’s called “The Artist.” Apparently it’s going to win. Drink water out of a bowl in honor of its Jack Russell star, Uggie. You haven’t seen this film, it starts actors you’ve never heard of including nominees Jean Dujardin & Bérénice Bejo, so why should you care? React to all silent-movie jokes with absolute silence. Better yet: Make the joke meta by turning the sound down. Better better yet: Turn the channel. Do you realize you could be watching the double feature “Hillybilly Handfishin’?” and “Rattlesnake Republic” on Animal Planet? •Hey, it’s Meryl Streep. Her Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, drinks whiskey, straight up. Keep plenty on hand in her honor. Does she look nervous? She thought she was going to win easily. She’s playing a world-historical figure with a tricky accent, an overwhelming personality and Alzheimer’s disease. Streep’s bulletproof hairdo alone was so terrifying, it could make Third World dictators faint. Her work was acclaimed from here to Neptune. She’s the finest actress of her generation. Yet … she could lose to her good friend/possible future frenemy Viola Davis, who brought home the Screen Actors Guild honors for playing Quietly Dignified Suffering for the 18th time in her career, in a sudsy and sentimental story that proves Lifetime movies really can be projected on an extra-large screen. If Streep wins her third Oscar, have fish and chips ready to dip in that chocolate pie. If she loses: Scotch, straight up. But if whiskey’s not your drink, try some: • Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” aquavit. Star Rooney Mara is nominated for Best Actress in her first big starring role, proving that affixing a snarl to your face for 2¹/? hours impresses people if you’ve got extra-funky hair and makeup. Toast this all-American riches-to-riches story of the 26-year-old scion of the families that own both the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Where else can you so quickly make it to the top after being born on the top? She’s the Chelsea Clinton of film, only at least Rooney had to get naked to secure media stardom. Psst: Her actual first name is Patricia. So she’s not Miss Cool after all. •Though she is a little too put together, like the Rose Byrne character in “Bridesmaids.” In honor of the movie’s nod for Best Original Screenplay, have some Brazilian churrascaria meats on hand for snacks, and try to keep out of your head the image of Supporting Actress nominee Melissa McCarthy squatting in the sink. Wash down with Old Milwaukee in honor of the film’s setting. •If you’re lucky, you’ll be unconscious at the end of the evening, with Best Picture and Director going to “The Artist” and France’s Michel Hazanavicius. France is known for several alcoholic beverages, including Chablis, Cognac and Champagne. There’s no need to go broke, though: Honor the film’s low budget and modest aspirations via a toast with good old French Kronenbourg beer.]]>
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  • Oscar Race: C'est Fini
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The Oscar nominations were kind of a bore, with everything in place for “The Artist” to sweep the top honors. Certainly I think it will win Best Picture and Director. I also think it’ll win Best Actor for Jean Dujardin. Best Screenplay? Could very well go to Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris.” Best Actress will be Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady.” Since “Hugo” had the most nominations overall — 11 to 10 for “The Artist” — I guess you could consider it a spoiler. Perhaps Scorsese has a shot at Best Director. Somewhat suprising was that “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” got a Best Picture nomination despite getting hammered by some major critics and getting an overall Rotten Tomatoes score of 48 percent, by far the worst of any Best Picture nominee. The Artist is at 97 percent, Hugo at 94, The Descendants 89, War Horse 78, The Help 76, Midnight in Paris 93, Moneyball 95, The Tree of Life 84. I’m glad there was love for: Demian Bichir, who gave a quietly devastating performance as a Mexican landscaper in one of the year’s most affecting movies, “A Better Life.” “The Tree of Life.” This is as artsy a film as has ever been nominated for Best Picture but it’s well deserving. Even if you think you might hate it, you must see it. (And I say that as someone who hated Terrrence Malick’s “The New World” and was unimpressed by “The Thin Red Line.”) Good taste: J.Edgar, an embarrassing, mawkish, wretched disaster featuring a howler of a performance by an unbelievably inept and hammy Leonardo DiCaprio wearing some of the worst makeup I’ve ever seen in a major production, got zero nominations as I predicted the day it opened. I predict record-low ratings for the Oscar telecast because “The Artist” isn’t doing well at the box office and is going to be, in real dollars, one of the lowest-grossing Best Picture winners ever. It will do better than “The Hurt Locker.”]]>
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  • "Nyah, Nyah!" say Altekockers
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The National Board of Review, a group of uncredentialed non-journalists who don’t work in the film profession and whose relevance is a deep and abiding mystery, was a couple of years ago rechristened by me the National Board of Alte Kockers in a meme I hope will continue to gather strength. Normally the NBAK pick their best picture candidates before any actual groups of professionals but this year they are smarting from stolen thunder, spirited away in the middle of the night in a daring flanking action conducted by New York Film Critics Circle chair John Anderson with audacity unseen since Douglas MacArthur sneaked one on the Reds and captured Inchon. Today, the NBAK has picked its top films of the year, giving Picture and Director to “Hugo” and Martin Scorsese. They posted their top ten list, which also includes The Artist The Descendants Drive The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 The Ides of March J. Edgar Tree of Life War Horse And they then made it a point obstreperously to pick completely different winners than the ones we chose (with a couple of small exceptions). Pointedly they gave no awards except the bare mention in the Top Ten list to “The Artist,” a movie set in the 1930s that no doubt brings back fraught memories of a period when most NBAK members were welcoming their first grandchildren to the world. Rebuke has been given. The game is afoot! Their seconds have called on our seconds! (Er, my seconds are busy. Have ’em call on my thirds.) We shall see whether the NYFCC or the NBAK wields more influence in this year’s awards season. The complete list of NBAK honorees follows. Oh, and “J.Edgar” is still crap. Best Film: Hugo Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50 Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants Best Animated Feature: Rango Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call Best Ensemble: The Help Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class) NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film]]>
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  • New York Film Critics Circle Honors "The Artist"
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I was mostly pleased with the NYFCC’s choices this year; the only film honored I didn’t like was “Margin Call,” the dull would-be expose of the financial crisis that follows last year’s award-winning best doc, the dull would-be expose of the financial crisis, “Inside Job.” I’m surprised Brad Pitt won for Best Actor, but I thought he was very good in what must have been a demanding shoot on “The Tree of Life.” Acclaim for his relaxed, good-ol-boy turn in “Moneyball” puzzles me but I suppose this is a very American portrayal that reassures us that the best-looking guy in the room is also the smartest guy in the room. Glamour counts, in other words. The winners: Best Picture and Director (Michel Hazanavicius): “The Artist.” Well-deserved. This is the best film of the year. Best Actor: Brad Pitt for both “Moneyball” and “The Tree of Life.” Best Actress: Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady.” Easiest choice of the day. Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for “Drive.” Good choice. My second pick. Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain for “Tree of Life,” “Take Shelter,” and “The Help.” I didn’t like “Take Shelter” but what a year it has been for Chastain, who came out of nowhere and was also in “Coriolanus” and the awful “The Debt.” Having more than one good movie out there definitely helps your chances. I’m very glad Vanessa Redgrave did not win for “Coriolanus.” Best First Film: “Margin Call.” Best Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.” Werner Herzog’s documentary about cave painting reminded me of Vincent Scully’s “legendary” architecture lectures at Yale: It wasn’t that he had a whole lot to say, but he was so awfully enthusiastic about everything that people got the impression he was imparting some sort of wisdom. Nevertheless, Herzog is an artist and I don’t begrudge him another award, though “Project Nim” was a vastly more intriguing film. Best Cinematography: “The Tree of Life.” This was my second pick, after “War Horse.” Best Screenplay: “Moneyball.” Making that book into anything resembling a popcorn movie is quite an achievement, and director Bennett Miller rightly went easy on the Sorkin-isms, although I wanted “The Artist” to win here also. Best Foreign Film: “A Separation” Members decided not to honor any film for Best Animated Feature this year, which I think is a shame for “Rango,” which was brilliant. Agreed-upon gentlemen’s rules prevent me from revealing details of the vote (such as who finished second and third), so I won’t be leaking to the press.]]>
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  • Who I'm Voting for in the New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The group meets tomorrow morning. I’m going to list my first choice, then parenthetically note others I’d also gladly back. (If, for instance, I’m the only one who voted for X on the first ballot then I’d be unwise not to switch to something else the next time around.) If I forgot something I’d like to vote for here, it won’t matter because almost nothing ever gets decided on the first ballot and I’ll be reminded as the first-round results are tabulated. Best First Film: “Submarine,” Richard Ayoade (“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Sean Durkin, “Everything Must Go,” Dan Rush, “The Muppets,” James Bobin) Best Documentary: “Project Nim,” James Marsh (“Into the Abyss,” Werner Herzog) Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady” (Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy,” Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”) Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life,” though I think Chastain’s was a lead role. (Carey Mulligan, “Shame,” Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids,” Octavia Spencer, “The Help,” Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”) Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” (Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Ryan Gosling, “Drive,” Michael Fassbender, “Shame,” Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”) Best Supporting Actor: John Hawkes, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” (Albert Brooks, “Drive,” Ryan Gosling, “Crazy Stupid Love,” Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult”) Best Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist” (Kyle Killen, “The Beaver,” Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids,” Scott Z. Burns, “Contagion,” Dan Fogelman, “Crazy Stupid Love”) Best Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski, “War Horse.” (Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life,” Guillaume Schiffman, “The Artist”) Best Animated Film: “Rango” (“Winnie the Pooh”) Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist” (Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life,” Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”) Best Picture: “The Artist” (“War Horse,” “The Tree of Life”) Movies I don’t particularly want to vote for in any category: “The Descendants,” “Beginners,” “Coriolanus,” “Margin Call,” “Albert Nobbs,” “My Week with Marilyn,” “Harry Potter and the Whatever,” “Hugo.”]]>
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The Unz Review Staff1
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • BIRTH of A NATION–New "Nat Turner" Movie Will Inspire More Black Violence
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Scene from the new BIRTH OF A NATION---a bloodthirsty mob. Credit: VDare.com Anti-white snuff films are now practically their own genre. The newest movie following in the footsteps of Machete and Django Unchained is Birth of a Nation, a loving tribute to the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion which led to the death of more than fifty white men, women and children. Not surprisingly, it received a rapturous reception at the Sundance Film Festival. Less than 24 hours after its roaring arrival at the Sundance Film Festival, “The Birth of a Nation” has made history with the biggest deal in the festival’s history. Fox Searchlight has acquired world-wide rights to the Nat Turner biopic for $17.5 million — a whopping amount that reflects the movie’s critical and commercial prospects and the crowded field of bidders hitting festivals now. It was clear from the movie’s premiere that it would go for big money. The audience gave the movie an extended standing ovation through the closing credits, and Nate Parker, who directed, produced, wrote and stars in the film, left the auditorium as Sundance’s favorite son. [Fox Searchlight Acquires ‘The Birth of a Nation’ for $17.5 Million, by Erich Swartzel,Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2016] Here are some highlights from historian Stephen B. Oates’s October 1973American Heritage article, Children Of Darkness, detailing what the rebellion was like: As Turner’s column moved relentlessly toward Jerusalem one Levi Waller, having heard that the blacks had risen, summoned his children from a nearby schoolhouse (some of the other children came running too) and tried to load his guns. But before he could do so, Turner’s advance horsemen swept into his yard, a whirlwind of axes and swords, and chased Waller into some tall weeds. Waller managed to escape, but not before he saw the blacks cut down his wife and children. One small girl also escaped by crawling up a dirt chimney, scarcely daring to breathe as the insurgents decapitated the other children—ten in all—and threw then bodies in a pile. … And so it went throughout that malignant night, as the rebels took farm after farm by surprise. They used no firearms, in order not to arouse the countryside, instead stabbing and decapitating their victims. Although they confiscated horses, weapons, and brandy, they took only what was necessary to continue the struggle, and they committed no rapes. They even spared a few homesteads, one because Turner believed the poor white inhabitants “thought no better of themselves than they did of negroes.” By dawn on Monday there were fifteen insurgents —nine on horses—and they were aimed with a motley assortment of guns, clubs, swords, and axes. Turner himself now carried a light dress sword, but for some mysterious reason (a fatal irresolution? the dread again?) he had killed nobody yet. At Elizabeth Turner’s place, which the slaves stormed at sunrise, the prophet tried once again to kill. They broke into the house, and there, in the middle of the room, too frightened to move or cry out. stood Mrs. Turner and a neighbor named Mrs. Newsome. Nat knew Elizabeth Turner very well, for she was the widow of his second master, Samuel Turner. While Will attacked her with his axe the prophet took Mrs. Newsome’s hand and hit her over the head with his sword. But evidently he could not bring himself to kill her. Finally Will moved him aside and chopped her to death as methodically as though he were cutting wood. With the sun low in the east, Turner sent a group on foot to another farm while he and Will led the horsemen at a gallop to Caty Whitehead’s place. They surrounded the house in a rush, but not before several people fled into the garden. Turner chased after somebody, but it turned out to be a slave girl, as terrified as the whites, and he let her go. All around him, all over the Whitehead farm, there were scenes of unspeakable violence. He saw Will drag Mrs. Whitehead kicking and screaming out of the house and almost sever her head from her body. Running around the house, Turner came upon young Margaret Whitehead [age 18] hiding under a cellar cap between two chimneys. She ran crying for her life, and Turner set out after her—a wild chase against the hot August sun. He overtook the girl in a field and hit her again and again with his sword, but she would not die. In desperation he picked up a fence rail and beat her to death. Finally he had killed someone. Naturally, this film is basically guaranteed to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay next year, killing three birds with one black stone named Nate Parker. So what moved Parker to write his script? In between the standing ovation he received when he took the Eccles theater stage and the other “standing ovation that lasted through the credits, in what was arguably one of the longest standing Os in recent festival memory,” Parker had this to say: “I made this film for one reason, with the hope of creating change agents. That people can watch this film and be affected. That you can watch this film and see that there were systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people and the legacy of that still lives with us,” said Parker. “I just want you, if you are affected and you are so moved, to ask yourself, ‘Are there systems in my life that need attention whether it be racial, gender?’ There are a lot of injustices.” Parker spoke about how he gave up acting for nearly two years to make the film, and the resistance he faced with getting it financed. “It was very difficult, for so many reasons,” he said. “I think any time we’re dealing with our history, specifically with slavery, I find that it has been desperately sanitized. There’s a resistance to dealing with this material.” [Sundance: ‘Birth of a Nation’ Receives Rapturous Standing Ovation at Premiere, By Rebecca Ford, Hollywood Reporter, January 25, 2016] What kind of change do you think he has in mind? Ironically, 100 years ago the real The Birth of a Nationwas released. This movie depicted white southerners banding together to protect their civilization against another program of “change,” radical Reconstruction. That Nate Parker would select the same title used in D.W. Griffith’s immensely influential silent film is obviously intentional, but hardly necessary. Black-run Newark, New Jersey has already canonized Nat Turner with the Nat Turner Park (at its unveiling in 2009, President Obama sent a member of his administration to the ceremony) [Newark opens Nat Turner Park in Central Ward after 30 years, By Cullen Nutt, NJ.com, July 28, 2009]. Men like Turner are the heroes of the new anti-America. And even the arch-leftists of Hollywood are having a hard time adjusting. Currently, the Oscars are under siege by spoiled black actors and directors who know they can count on the Main Stream Media to portray The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as racist. Indeed, the Academy has already caved, pledging “to double its membership of women and minorities by 2020 through an ambitious affirmative action plan that includes stripping some older members of voting privileges.” It will also add three new seats to the governing board exclusively for women and minorities [Oscars’ Film Academy pledges to diversify membership by 2020, CNBC, January 22, 2016]. ORDER IT NOWA Los Angeles Times study in 2012 noted The Academy was 94 percent white and 77 percent male, publishing a follow-up piece in 2013 detailing the horror that The Academy had only dropped to being 93 percent white and 76 percent male. [Diversity efforts slow to change the face of Oscar voters, By John Horn and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, December 21, 2013]. (Of course, many of these whites do not identify as such. But that doesn’t seem to matter to blacks.) And even this majority non-black Academy was eager to celebrate “diversity” at the 2014 Oscars. As the LA Times article stated: John Ridley, an African American screenwriter who wrote the “12 Years a Slave”screenplay, took note of the irony: From all outward appearances, this is a banner year for diversity in Hollywood. His film, directed by the black filmmaker Steve McQueen, received seven Golden Globe nominations, and other black-themed films including “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and director Ryan Coogler‘s “Fruitvale Station” are getting awards-season buzz. 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. Unfortunately,as with mayoral elections, many blacks seem to believe when “they” win something, it is racism if anyone else wins ever again. Considering the rapturous reception given to racism porn from The Butler to The Help, there will be plenty of similar films offered in the years to come. The government even subsidized the film Selma by buying free tickets for schoolchildren. And with each new film, there will be another controversy over alleged racism if it doesn’t win an Oscar. But Parker’s The Birth of a Nation raises the stakes. It’s not just going to promote white guilt but black violence. There can be no doubt it will be celebrated by Black Lives Matter and its allies. One can only hope the movie doesn’t inspire those seeing the movie to duplicate Turner’s actions. Considering how blacks haveresponded to past anti-white incitement from both academia, the MSM, and the American Left, there’s little reason for optimism. Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2 013. ]]>
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  • Golden Globe Recap: Winners, Losers and Streep’s Classy S-Bomb
    (”The Help” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The Golden Globes Awards “are just like the Oscars but without all that esteem, this web ” host Ricky Gervais said during last night’s Golden Globes telecast, visit this site his third stint hosting the annual show. The ceremony—featuring awards handed out by...
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