The premise is engaging. Two kids go missing during a Thanksgiving dinner. The fear is a kidnapping with the probability of the girls being raped and killed. Such an outcome could make for a poignant movie, but director Denis Villeneuve would rather cater to the morals of its audience. Blunt realism is therefore overshadowed by silly unlikelihoods. The actions of Keller Dover, the father of one of the young girls, are particularly outrageous.
my rating : 3 of 5
This story takes place during The Civil Rights Movement; a time when it wasn’t uncommon for wealthy white husbands and wives to hire poor black people, mostly women, to help around the house. The hired help weren’t slaves. That period in American history had long passed, but racism was still very much alive. Even as maids; paid to cook, clean and practically raise their bosses babies; they were often treated with racial condescension.
A maid is fired for using the in-house bathroom, reserved for white people. Another scene has one “axing” her Ma’am for a 75-dollar advance to help pay for her son’s college tuition. “God don’t give charity to those that are well and able,” the boss says with a haughty grin, “You need to come-up with this money on your own.” But not all white people are snobs. One, an aspiring writer named Skeeter, makes it her duty to help the help.
It’s a story about a book based on a book about stories; the stories of black Mississippi maids working for upper-class white people in the 1950s and 1960s; stories we never really get to read, hear or see, because they’re hidden deep within the perspective walls of the narrative. There is, however, a main plot. While it isn’t as straight-forward as it should be; the pie humor, for one, seems out of place; it has a good deal of heart.
my rating : 4 of 5