Our second contender is The Help. This movie came out a long time ago, and this usually hurts movies in the Oscar race. However, I do think that at least one of the big four acting awards will go to this movie, if not more. It’s well-deserved, at least as far as I can tell.
“What is the movie about?” – In Jackson, Mississippi during the civil rights movement, Skeeter Phelan is an aspiring writer with the challenge to write about something no one else has researched before. She enlists the help of two maids, Aibileen and Minny, to help her tell stories from the perspective of “the help”. In that day and age, this was a dangerous undertaking, but a very courageous one. As the tagline says, “Change begins with a whisper.”
“What other nominations did this movie earn?” – Viola Davis is up for Best Actress, while Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are both nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
OSCAR BAIT CATEGORIES
- Pretty person turned ugly – Kinda. Emma Stone is naturally gorgeous, but in this movie she is supposed to be a homely girl who has never been on a date.
- Actor pretending to have special needs – Nope.
- Set during a different time period – Set in the 60’s in the time of the civil rights movement.
- Based on a true story – Not technically. Obviously there were maids in the 60’s, but the actual story line is fiction.
- High-concept story line that no one really understands, but pretends to so that they will appear intelligent – Nope. This is a pretty straight forward movie and the references to “the way things were” is a concept we can all grasp pretty easily.
- Based on a best-selling novel – Yup. The Help by Katheryn Stockett (GREAT book, in case you’re interested).
“Will it win the Best Picture Academy Award?” – Doubtful. It’s definitely got the advantage of addressing a hot-button issue, but it’s simply not popular enough. It’s a great movie, but, like I said, the Academy tends to not award “great” movies…they focus more on “well-done” movies. I do think that Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will win in their respective categories…Viola might get surpassed by the almighty Meryl Streep, but I think this is definitely Octavia Spencer’s award to lose.
“Should I watch this before Oscar night?” – Absolutely. This is a great story with lots of hope, laughs and some tears. Overall, if you like this movie, I recommend reading the book…it is much better and more detailed. As far as the Oscar nominees go, this is up there as one of my favorites…however, there are many more to see! Have fun!