Directed by Tate Taylor Film Review by Danielle Whitburn (B-)
A 60s pasture. A 60s dress. A 60s racism. This was the scene I was presented with upon being seated in our lovely, albeit often unhygienic, Queen Street movies. I was ready for a tale to blow up my skirt with a few newcomers on the celebrity scene, and that exactly what I got with The Help. The story starts with Skeeter (Emma Stone), who has returned home to Mississippi from college to start a career in journalism. She gets a job writing a cleaning column in the Jackson Journal and, wanting to become a serious writer, starts looking for a topic. A woman ahead of her time, she is looking for something offbeat, interesting and wholeheartedly based in equality. She finds it right on her own backyard. Living in the South in the 1960s, Skeeter’s life is full of airy-bouffant heads. They are all bitchy and perfectly preened, concerned about
husbands, dates for their daughters and who baked what muffins on what occasion. To live this hectic life, however, they had the help of maids. They’re not quite slaves, but incredibly low paid house workers that, because of racial inequality, had little chance of a better existence. To make themselves feel better for this modern slavery, the Bouffant Brigade were rather talented at making a show of equality on the outside, whilst confining the maids to a life of private degradation and humiliation. These maids were accused of theft, passing on diseases, and bad housework on a regular basis, sometimes shot at and torn away from their children for the needs of their frivolous employers. Skeeter decides to write the stories of these maids, but anonymously, because to know the identity of the maids would lead to their permanent unemployment, persecution, or worse. The maids, resigned to their fate, are slow to reveal their truths, too frightened of their froufrou foes. Maid Aibileen (Viola Davis) finally agrees to help after witnessing a motivational church speech, and the ball gets rolling. In true Hollywood fashion, the Bouffant Brigade are left disgraced; but in a real world twist, the maids are left none the better off, except for their personal freedom from their own harrowing truths. The film invoked all the staples of a good Hollywood: the community, the lead heroine (whom of course we all
love and is oh-so-relatable), the trusty sidekick and the woman everybody loves to hate (played expertly by Bryce Dallas-Howard). There are emotional moments; a few tear-jerkers fill the eyes for Skeeter’s old maid Constantine (who virtually acted as her mother) and a few moments of hilarity involving a certain pie and a sassy what-you-talkin’-bout stereotypical chicken wing attitude. On the whole, it was very pleasant for the old Tuesday afternoon.
Neighborhoods Album Review by Ksenia Khor (A)
At last, after eight years of hiatus, punk rock trio Blink-182 present their so far most sombre and emotional sixth record, Neighborhoods. It embraces everything the band had to go through in the latest years: from the guitarist Tom Delonge’s departure and the uncertain future of the band, to drummer Travis Barker’s plane crash. Luckily, he is still with us. However, it is not surprising that one of the pivotal themes of this album is death: they saw it way
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