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Entries in The Help (38)

Sunday
Jul202014

"Otherwise it goes in the pile"


Mary Steenburgen is always the boss of you.

(Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #1051: Mary Steenburgen in The Help)

 

Friday
Mar142014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Get On Up"

You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

I love The Help (2011). I don't care who knows it. So I'm immediately curious about Get On Up, Tate Taylor's follow up which reunites Minny & Aibileen though they both take a back seat since this time it's the story of rock legend James Brown (Chadwick Boseman). This trailer also starts with an affirmative.

You special. And your momma's a no account fool. But you ain't gonna be. One day everybody gonna know your name"

JAMES BROWN [*makes applause sound*]

Okay so that's not as universal an affirmation but... wait. oh. That makes Viola Davis the 'no account fool'? Do over! Not sure I'm okay with this. Time for a Yes No Maybe So™ 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan232014

Happy National Pie Day! What's Your Favorite Pie Scene in a Movie?

my first pie I baked solo! Today is National Pie Day and if you don't celebrate it by watching Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet make pies as a substitute/preamble to carnal rutting in Labor Day (reviewed), you should eat one. To the left you'll see me as the proud chef of my first pie a month back. It was pumpkin (duh!), messy, and a little burnt but I devoured it anyway. Despite the deliciousness I had planned for this Very Important Day, film festivalling has thrown off my other blogging instincts (I'll be back to normal Monday). So no big pie-celebrating top ten list or visual extravaganza for this very special day.

When I think of pies in the movie I often think of The Help or Waitress but in neither of those cases would I want a slice, you know? The other most easy-to-retrieve pie memory is the now extinct slapstick gag of cream pies in people's faces. 

Help me find better cinematic attachments to pies by citing your favorites in the comments. 

Tuesday
Jan082013

Curio: Alexa's Favorite Film Moments of 2012

Alexa here with my own contribution to the year in review. Everyone seems to agree that 2012 was a great year in film, and many are dissing 2011 in the process. Was 2011 really that bad? I would argue no...but I digress.  This week is about honoring the films of last year, and we will hear from Seth MacFarlane's loud mouth on Thursday which will get the most attention in the coming weeks. So rather than add another best-of list to the heap, I thought I'd share instead my favorite film moments of 2012: my best cinematic experiences, old and new, best film celebrations, and generally the moments that reinvigorated my love of the medium.

10. Discovering the joys of reform school
After finding a musty promotional packet for So Young, So Bad at a thrift store in Georgia, I found myself down a juvenile delinquent rabbit hole, devouring many films in the reform school girl genre, including Reform School Girl (1957), Reform School Girls (1986), La residencia (The House That Screamed) (1969), and my personal favorite, Untamed Youth (1957). 

9. Drowning my Oscar sorrows in pie
Overall I was displeased with the Oscars last year, primarily because my favorite Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was passed over in the few categories for which it was recognized. (Don't get me started on Gary Oldman's loss). So in the spirit of Minny from The Help, a transferred my anger into a pie that was all but annihilated by the end of the broadcast, yet without her secret ingredient.

Take This Waltz, Silver Linings Playbook and more... after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb262012

It's Oscar Day. Are You Prepared For Guests?

The day has finally arrived! Have you finished all your last minute preparations? Made your final predictions? Bought all your party gifts and decor?

Baked all your chocolate pies and other Best Picture themed foods?

If Anxiety, Excitement, Prediction Jitters, Star Lust, and Indifference were all competing in the same category for "Best Usurping Of Your Mood," which would win?

 

Sunday
Feb192012

Yet More Hardware For... The Help, The Descendants, The Artist

ACE and IMAGE statues. Why are trophies always nude men? Is Emmy the only girl among trophies?It's the last exhausting stretch of awards season and the mantles of everyone involved with The Help, The Descendants, and The Artist are about to collapse even before they take home their respective Oscars.

The ACE Awards which is short for American Cinema Editors has four film prizes each year for features and the winners this year were

Drama: The Descendants
Comedy: The Artist
Documentary: Freedom Riders*
Animation: Rango

* I mistakenly read this as Freedom Writers when I saw the release and momentarily panicked that the Hilary Swank teaching drama had resurfaced in non-fiction form. The Making Of... Now With More Swank.

The Drama winner at the Eddies generally goes on to win Best Picture, but this year may prove a semi rare exception since The Artist is expected to take home the Oscar. In the hoopla over The Artist being a silent film people keep forgetting that it's also a comedy and if it wins, we have our first comedy winner since Chicago (2002). They're all too rare on the big night.

It's also worth noting that Patton Oswalt hosted the ACE Eddie Awards, his third awards hosting gig of the season. This Just In (Inside My Head): Patton Oswalt To Host The 13th Annual Film Bitch Awards in January 2013! (Well, he does says "yes" a lot. Maybe I should ask?)

USC Scripter goes to an adapted screenplay and the book it rode in on each year and The Descendants won for what we assume was arduous carpel tunnel syndrome-laden man hours of copying and pasting the book's prose into onscreen voiceover. Yeesh. (I'm tired. I don't like The Descendants. Forgive me. Soon we'll be able to move on.) I'd feel worse for Moneyball, a far more graceful screenplay, if Aaron Sorkin hadn't just had a big year with The Social Network.

NAACP Image Awards were almost certain to fall in The Help's win column given its blockbuster status. But it was interesting to see it happen so soon after watching Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress winners Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer have it out with Tavis Smiley about trophies going to black women playing maids in 2011. [Rant: When this Oscar season is over I think we need to have a long discussion in this country about class rather than race for a change. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a maid. It's honest legal work and why should someone feel ashamed about having a job and doing it? Maybe it's because I used to work in the hotel industry and knew a lot of people who struggled with people looking down on them because of the job they performed. These conversations about The Help feel very tone deaf to one particular fact: there are actual maids in the world and there always will be. These conversations always seem to be saying 'oh god. could there be anything more demeaning than being a maid?' and I'm just not sure how cleaning people's houses or hotel rooms is horrible work you should feel ashamed of but you know, it's fine if you're a white collar person destroying entire swaths of people's livelihoods with shady business practices or pension-fund robbing or lobbying the government for horribly unfair tax codes. I really wish we could over the deeply embedded notion that you're somehow a better person if you have money. The actual quality of a person's character has zero to do with the amount of dollars on their paycheck. The only thing a lot of dollars on the paycheck does, in terms of character, is make it more visible. You can do a lot of evil or a lot of good in the world when you have money but the money itself isn't the determining factor on which you'll choose. /Rant]

Ahem. Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. Speaking of...

Damn, Viola! She's proud of hers, apparently.

So...  The Help took Best Picture. Off the Oscar track, Pariah won best independent movie and Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey won best foreign film. Laz Alonso and Mike Epps took home the actor prizes for the wedding drama Jumping the Broom which also won Best Director. LL Cool J and Regina King won the top TV acting honors for their procedurals, one of those NCIS's and Southland respectively.

Tuesday
Feb142012

Curio: Oscar Unsheets, Part III

Alexa here.  With less than two weeks till the Oscars I'm spotting more and more fabulous unsheets (or fan poster art) inspired by the nominated films. (See last week's post for some criminally overlooked films). This week I'm moving on to the Best Picture nominees.  Interestingly, The Help seems to be one of the nominees most posterized this year; is it the lure of illustrating pie? 

The Help by Hector Pahaut.Here are some of the best celebrations of the Mississippi Maids, along with some key-themed designs for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, mathematical minimilism for Moneyball, and evocative staircase imagery for The Descendants. Click for more.

Click to read more ...