The Top Ten reasons The Help movie needed someone to yell out “CUT!”

Posted on August 18, 2011

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WELCOME! If you’re been linked here via an article from The Root, I hope you’ll read additional posts on my site  (which has been up since June, 2010)  You see,  I recognized Kathryn Stockett put segregationist ideology into the mouths of her black characters as amusing anecdotes. Lines like “Don’t drink coffee or you’ll turn colored” (Aibileen Pg 91) as well as “Plenty of Black men leave their families behind like trash in a dump” (Minny Pg 311).

That’s why I researched digitized copies of real newspapers from 1963 and have scans and links on this site. Just for such an occasion. You’ll find the words of real, 1963 residents of Jackson, Mississippi here   and here (only if your stomach can stand it)

UK Cover of the Help AKA The cover they dared not put on US bookshelves

I’ve already got up the ten plus issues with the novel of The Help, so I thought I’d create one on the movie.

Starting from number 12, here  are the reasons that didn’t quite make the TOP TEN:

“It should not be ‘Why is Viola Davis playing a maid in 2011?’ I think it should be ‘Viola Davis plays a maid and she gives the f—ing performance of her life.’ ”   – Actress Octavia Spencer, co-star of The Help in a quote from EW magazine.

 

I don’t doubt that Viola Davis will get an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Sag nomination AND  win all three of them. But  Louise Beavers beat her to the first nominated title of greatest maid on screen.

 

Louise Beavers in Imitation of Life, touted as "the greatest screen role ever played by a colored actress"

 
 
 

And Hattie McDaniel took home the first Oscar statuette for giving the greatest f-ing performance of HER LIFE. And this was during segregation, when things were a whole hell of a lot tougher:

Hattie McDaniel's haunting Oscar pic. Hard not to wonder what she was thinking or going through

 
 
 
 
Number 11:
 
 

Salt and Pepper's here. The comedic duo of Celia and Minny, making segregation fun for all, as Octavia Spencer plays the straight man to Jessica Chastain's ditzy blonde bombshell with the heart of gold.

 
 
 

Here are the top ten, beginning with Number 10:

Emma Stone’s hair. It looks as if they used hairpieces and wigs and finally took pity on her with the Shinalator, but Stone kinda reminds me of Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel or The Littlest Rebel.

Maybe that’s why I ‘ve termed her “Oh Golly gosh darn, spunky Skeeter saves the day!”

 Oscar loves period piece movies, and since Americans are due for a win in this category. (I believe last year England walked away with best costumes, I’ll have to check)

Giving them the Sandra Bullock stare

 
 
 

Sandra Bullock laser cats stare number two by Emma Stone. Oh it's about to be on.

 
 
 

Shirley Temple

 
 
 

Number 9:

This is a little quibble, but why are most of the black characters dressed so badly? Not poorly, just in god awful outfits. I do believe even maids had standards in clothing.

Minny in tears and an ugly dress

 

 

Number 8:

 Executive behind The Help Movie was probably right:

The Help Tweet with name blocked

 

 

Number 7

 

 

All the "blacker the better" maids in one room, as the film attempts to duplicate Stockett's words with heavy handed film shots

 

 

 

Number 6

 

Shrieks and squeals from Skeeters pals

 
 
This is Pleasantville. No, this is Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. Where women act as if they’re in a sit-com, complete with broad gestures when feigning signs of happiness 
 

 

 

 

Number 5

 

 

Painful just to watch overacting

 
And overacted signs of concern 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Number 4

The Loop or Bryce Dallas Howard’s neverending saga of over the top emotion

 

Scream the prequel

 
 
 
 
 

Tears over toilets during segregation

 
 
 
 
 
 

Hilly, played by Bryce Dallas Howard thinks Minny is using her bathroom and spreading disease

 
 
 
 
 

Catfight between Hilly and Skeeter

 

 

Number 3

 

Law, they done gone an took away all Cicely Tyson's teeth for the movie

 
 
 
 
 

 

Number 2 (it’s a tie)

The tasteless HSN tie-in to the movie. With items “inspired” by the film, like cookware by Emeril.

Um, Um. Nothing says lovin’ like implying that blacks need to stay by the oven.

Link: http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/the-help-movie-cleans-up-after-itself-the-novel/making-the-help-pay/

 

The  “You is kind, you is smart, you is im-po-tent” tutorial meant solely to manipulate the emotions  of viewers, just like in the novel. Look for this clip to be shown during awards time, and I hope the camera pans to black audience members squirming in their seats.

  

Young Actress playing Mae Mobley learning her "You is" isms, a contrived and condescending piece of dialogue meant to "inspire"

 

 

Number  1 :

“The scene where Viola Davis is sitting on a toilet in a garage in 108 degrees, and then a white woman comes out and tells her to hurry up was visually brutal. To me that’s worse than seeing a lynching. It just is.” – Tate Taylor, screenwriter and director of The Help

 

 Oh dear. Oh dear me. WTF was he thinking? WTF,  was he even thinking at all?

Here’s a link to a post providing information on Taylor’s interview with Chris Witherspoon of  TheGrio.com:

Link: http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/director-says-thats-worse-than-seeing-a-lynching/

 

Unfortunately,  Tate Taylor has been building up  a virtual portfolio of verbal gaffes.

Here are the runner-ups to his number one ranking:

“My key objective was to give this movie street cred especially within the African-American community, to represent them and not sugarcoat it,” said Taylor.

LA Times interview By NICOLE SPERLING

Reprinted by http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/05/3058228/the-help-actresses-talk-roles.html

 

Oh my heavens. What? WHAT? Where does “Street cred” even enter the conversation? Wait, don’t tell me, appealing to African Americans means using terms on our “level.” Because he sure wouldn’t have used “street cred” in trying to ”represent” a group of Mormons.

 

 

“About 20 minutes into the movie, you’re craving fried chicken,” says director Tate Taylor. That movie is The Help, the new film based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel . . .”

Article link: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-help-southern-food

Hmm. Guess he never got the memo on how often African Americans were linked to demeaning ads featuring chicken, especially during segregation

It's Chicken Time! The stereotype of blacks loving chicken is resurrected in The Help

 
 
 
 

1950s bigoted advertising, for of all things, blacks and fried chicken

 
 
 
But wait. . .isn’t this Tate Taylor’s award wining short film Chicken Party? Seems it only took two short films before he was directing Octavia Spencer to say stereotypical lines like “Frying chicken make you tend to feel better about life.” 
 
 

Tate Taylor's Chicken Party

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 “Yeah, varying menstrual cycles and 110-degree weather in Mississippi could have been a time bomb, but it was not.”
 
Good ol’ boy Tate Taylor states this, after revealing that he kept a calendar of the menstrual cycles of the primary actresses in the film, as per Emma Stone (not only is that some freaky creepy type shit, but I wonder what would have happened if someone was offended and chose not to give him the information) YOU ARE FARD!
 
 
 
 
 
“. . . she (Stockett) told me when she wrote the novel, her editors in New York – highly educated people – had no clue about Jim Crow Laws. I go, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I know, I swear! You think people know. They don’t. So she goes, ‘I’m telling you put it in,’ and I did. I thought, being a Southerner, it was too much. ‘Oh really? Of course there’s Jim Crow Laws.’ That was the one thing.”
 
 
 
 
Are you kidding me? Stockett couldn’t get Medgar Evers means of death right in three audio interviews. She kept saying (earnestly, I must point out) that Evers had been “bludgeoned” in his front yard. She’s schooling them?
PLEASE. . .
Link to Stockett’s big ass blunder on Medgar Evers can be found here
 
 
 
” The book’s author and the screenwriter of The Help freely, wisely confessed the obvious to a crowd full of journalists last week: that is, that they were “making sh– up. . . ” *
 
 
* Stockett used the “I just made shit up” line previously, at least a few months ago. I’ll find and post the link where the author was answering questions from the audience and it was reported that’s what she stated.
 
However, I do think what African Americans went through during segregation and civil rights history deserve accuracy and respect, instead of  a bunch of people content with “making shit up.” Just saying.
 
 
To be continued . . .
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