Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) are unlikely friends. Aibileen is withdrawn, respectful, and religious whereas Minny is opinionated and outspoken, traits that keep landing her in trouble. But these two women's support for each other is unwavering, and helps them survive the difficult realities of being black maids for white families in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.

Aibileen works for Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O'Reilly), a materialistic woman who acts cold and distant toward her two-year-old daughter, Mae Mobley. Thankfully Aibileen is there to love on the girl, and to remind her daily, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." Minny works for Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), the "Christian" woman heading up the local movement to require all white households with black maids to have a separate bathroom in back for them to use. Hilly is one of many at that time who thought black people had different diseases that white people could catch through the toilet. (Yeah, we don't like Hilly.)

Skeeter (Emma Stone) grew up with Elizabeth and Hilly, but she's a very different kind of Southern white woman. Skeeter went to college when most of her schoolmates married young and started having babies. She's not as poised and concerned with beauty as her Junior League friends. And she wants to get a job and make her mark in the world. These things confuse her friends and downright grieve her traditional mother (a delightfully dramatic Allison Janney).

Though Skeeter is thrilled when she lands a job at the Jackson Journal writing a housecleaning advice column, she's motivated by the words of a New York City editor who told her to write about what concerns her. She decides to write about the real ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

The Help
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(32 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for thematic material)
Directed By
Tate Taylor
Run Time
2 hours 26 minutes
Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Theatre Release
August 10, 2011 by DreamWorks
Browse All Movie Reviews By: