Tag Archive: the help


Today we look at the ladies…

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Who I Want to Win: I might get outcast for saying this, but being partial to comedy anyway, I thought Melissa McCarthy stole every scene in the best comedy that came up last year.
  • Who Should Win: She’s kind of been the black sheep as far as awards season goes, but Berenice Bejo more than carried her share of the weight in the film everyone’s been jocking this year (‘the Artist’.)
  • Who Will Win: no reason to think the Oscar won’t go to Octavia Spencer at this point.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Who I Want to Win: I can’t penalize Viola for whatever feelings I may or not have for ‘the Help’ as a movie.
  • Who Should Win: There’s an argument to be made for Meryl (as always), but I’ll say Viola should win it.
  • Who Will Win: Hear me out; it won’t happen, but what if Meryl and Viola somehow split the vote and Michelle Williams sneaks in for ‘My Week With Marilyn’? It’s a performance people seem to like, it just came out on the ‘wrong year’ as they say.  Just throwing it out there…

Tomorrow, breaking down the actors…

 

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It’s funny how ‘timing’ plays out sometimes.  Between Red Tails, the Help, and Sundance, there’s been a lot of public and private conversations already this year about the direction of where black cinema is going.  Everyone has their own opinions, but the truth is none of us can look at the landscape and say, ‘This is definitely what’s going to happen next.’  I do think there is one thing we can ALL agree on though…

It’s going to be a LOOOOOOOOONG time before any Hollywood studio even partially bankrolls a film like Malcolm X again!

Personal bias aside, that’s one of many reasons I argued Spike’s epic was the Most Important Black Film ever made, which you can read here:

https://malikaziz.com/2009/12/02/the-most-important-film-of-black-cinema/

Today the film comes out on Blu-Ray.  Now if you keep up with me at all you know I don’t really use this space for that type of promotion, but like I said, when’s the next time we’re going to get one of ‘these’ out of the studio system?  So yeah…

I’ve still got your back Spike!

The Help

Count me among the many whose face curled up in disgust as soon as I heard the re was a movie about black folks called ‘The Help’.  I mean, really?  That was the best title they could come up with?  There’s a very short list of actors at this point who I would consider ‘dream colloborators’, but Viola Davis is on that list.  So hearing that she was in this film bought it a little bit of rope.

Next I heard that this was based on a popular book.  That and knowing all the main charaters were women sent me next to my mother to see if she saw the movie or read the book.  I’ve made reference before to my roots being in the South; so when my mother told me that the book and film gave her flashbacks to her teenage years (i.e. for a brief period of time, she was ‘The Help’), well, now I had a vested interest in seeing this film.

There’s nothing groundbreaking in the film in terms of story (‘black people really got the short end of the stick during Jim Crow’) or as a movie about racism (‘there’s the one educated white person who’s ready to tear down Jim Crow and side with the blacks).  That doesn’t mean I think it was a poorly made film either; as award season comes around I think ‘the Help’ will be remembered more for the performances than for its whole.  Emma Stone as the ‘ugly girl’, Jessica Chastain as the white trash girl, Bryce Dallas Howard actually being very convincing in the part I imagine they offered to January Jones first.  Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson in bit parts that were both very memorable.  On a side note, I half jokingly wondered if Cicely Tyson just rents herself out to ‘questionable’ projects; like a safety net to let folks know ‘if Cicely Tyson is in it, it can’t be racist.’

This is Viola Davis’ film though and to no surprise she carries it.  I’ve already heard the ‘O’ word thrown around a little bit.  I cringe a little when I think about the parts and scenes that have won black women Oscars (see Butterfly McQueen and Halle Berry), but we can cross that bridge later if it comes to that.

The film has been at the top of the box office for a minute now, so it’s worth being part of the conversation if you haven’t seen it: