The Help: Now I’ve Seen 3(!) Best Picture Noms…
I finally worked up the motivation to watch The Help (with a little nudge nudge from Amazon since it was a weekend rental deal). Okay. OKAY. I liked it. I found myself extremely invested in many of the characters. And if I wasn’t particularly invested, I was still engaged.
After last night’s SAG awards (where The Help won for best ensemble and Viola Davis won for Best Female Actor in a Dramatic Role, not to mention the continued streak of Octavia Spencer) I am hoping that the momentum will shift towards The Help in the Oscar race. Although, let’s be honest, The Artist winning for best ensemble would have been a joke. Keep in mind that I am still operating under the assumption that I will not be as charmed by The Artist as the rest of Hollywood seems to be. Months from now there may come a post about how clearly Past Me was an idiot and The Artist is the best thing ever. (But Present Me is letting Future Me worry about that).
Some quick takeaways:
- I loved, loved, loved Jessica Chastain’s character. I hadn’t heard of her until maybe the beginning of 2011 when she got cast in every single new movie but she’s great! I hate all the Bridge Club women for looking down on her and I was SO HAPPY that Mike Vogel actually loved her (as opposed to marrying her solely because he knocked her up). I had a feeling it would turn out that he knew about Minny cleaning the home and cooking the entire time, but it was still a sweet reveal.
- I also didn’t know about Chris Lowell playing Emma Stone’s love interest. Now my criticism here may be one part I always fall for sappy love stories and one part I didn’t read the book so maybe something got lost in adaptation, but: Stuart quickly saw that our heroine Skeeter was different from the other women and loved her for the same reasons we did. He tells her to write about something that matters and all seems well. But when she reveals how radical her writing really is, he completely flips out, without any indication he would react in this fashion. Yes, I realize that Skeeter moving to NYC probably would have put the kibosh on the relationship anyway (she is moving into the world of Don Draper…) but that is a much more valid reason then his little hissy fit. I guess the writers wanted to resolve the storyline (in case people went out of the theater seriously fuming “well it was nice but what happened to Stuart, I just have to know!!”) but this is one of my biggest film pet peeves: a throwaway scene at the end of the movie that basically unravels an entire storyline. Oh well. My hope is that the storyline is a bit clearer in the novel?
- The clothes! Had to jump on eBay immediately after and cruise the vintage section.
- I see a lot of people comparing this to Crash and citing that as a reason it may win Best Picture. I disagree, mainly because I do not feel Crash was deserving of Best Picture. It was preachy and everything that The Help was not. The Help may win for the same reasons Crash won but it is definitely in a different league.