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Lessons from the success of "It"

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Entries in The Help (40)

Thursday
Feb232017

Black History Month: Spotlight on Octavia Spencer

by Steven Fenton

On February 26, 2012, Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her endearing performance as the feisty Minny Jackson in Tate Taylor’s The Help. With her win, Spencer joined an elite group, becoming just the sixth black actress to win an acting Oscar (and only the seventh overall, if you count Irene Cara’s Original Song win for Flashdance, since she also starred in the film). Prior to 2011, Spencer had worked steadily since the mid-90s, gaining a reputation as a warm and generous co-star and a beloved character actress. So her win in February 2012 felt like an authentic opportunity for the academy to recognize an industry favorite.

Spencer was an indomitable force in the 2011 awards season, snatching wins at the Critics Choice, SAG awards, Globe Globes, and BAFTA, and beating out a talented crop of women in sensational breakout performances, including: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), and Spencer’s co-star, Jessica Chastain (who had taken both the LA and NY Film Critics awards for her outstanding trio of performances in The Help, Take Shelter, and Tree of Life). Spencer’s Oscar win was a foregone conclusion early in the race. The real competition that was year between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep in Leading Actress. Viola could have made history that night as the second black woman to win in lead, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, Spencer walked away with The Help’s only win that evening. Little did we know then, Octavia’s Oscar story wasn’t over, and she definitely wasn’t done making history...

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Monday
Nov282016

Great Moments In... Truth Telling

#41 (Octavia Spencer in The Help, 2011)

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™ 

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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

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