• You is important - A BD Review of "The Help"

    Recently, I have been obsessed with anything from the 1950's and 60's. The culture, the wardrobe, the social aspects of life is so fascinating to me. So when I got our review copy of THE HELP on Blu-ray combo pack, I was pretty excited to learn that the Dreamworks Picutre is set right in the 1960'.

    Taking place during an era renowned for its fun and swinging happy go-lucky times it's also a more poignant point of recent US history for the significance for civil rights issues. This film not only touches on the issues of race and prejudice but it does it from one of the most touchy parts of the country, right in the South.

    Based on Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help takes place in Jackson, Mississippi with Eugenia (Skeeter) getting a job at a local newspaper answering letters for a domestic housewives column. After asking Aibileen, a maid that works for one of Skeeters friends, she comes up with writing stories of the black women that have raised privileged white children their whole life.

    After understanding the importance of this project both Aibileen and Skeeter try and recruit other maids to come and share their experiences. The matter is made more important and far reaching when a New York publisher is interested in the stories but wants at least twenty different stories from the "help." Conflicted with being caught and losing their jobs, Aibleen and Skeeter toe various social norms including just talking with each other on a friendly basis.

    There are only a few substantial Bonus Features that come with the Blu-ray. The first in The Making of The Help: From Friendship to Film. Kathryn Stockett explains how she came up with the idea for the novel and how a circle of friends, Tate Taylor, Allison Janney, and Octiavia Spencer all had to be involved with her film. Director Tate Taylor has been Kathryn's best friend since the age of five.

    In Their Own Words: A Tribute to the Maids of Mississippi has Tate Taylor gathering a number of black women, including the maid who helped raised Taylor from a little boy. It's still amazing to see this strong group of real women and hearing their stories from the same times as from the film.

    Director Tate Taylor introduces five Deleted Scenes from the film. He explains why it's so hard to see some of them cut from the final film, but also recognized that the cuts sometimes are more beneficial to the overall feel of the film.

    "The Living Proof" is a music video from Mary J. Blige and is also the only bonus feature that comes with the DVD copy of The Help.

    The Help is an inspirational story, that will touch not only the hearts of people that grew up in that era, but also a new generation learning about the injustices that still happen today. The Blu-ray edition of The Help is definitely a compliment to Kathryn's novel and fans of the book will have to pick up the Blu-ray as well. At the very least, this period piece is a great one to pick up on Netflix.
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