By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 21, 2011 at 9:26AM
We saw the trailer on Monday, and it generated some strong reactions in you folks, with most not at all pleased with the content.
Now here's the poster for the film, which I'm guessing will inspire similar reactions.
I've actually read the book, and found it well-written and researched, as well as entertaining. The characters were well-defined; in fact, I'd even say that most of the white female characters were more 2-dimensional than the black women who worked for them.
It exists in a specific time in history, so, of course, that comes with certain amounts of race and class-based baggage; and, going into my reading of it, I wasn't necessarily expecting anything revolutionary. It is still, at the end of the day, a white woman's story, and told from her POV mostly.
However, as I said, it's obvious to me that the author approached the characterizations of the black maids with care and sensitivity. In essence, I'd say that she wanted to get it right!
But I can understand some of your immediate reactions to it. Another film that takes place in the segregationist, overtly racist past, in which blacks were subordinate to whites, featuring black women playing maids, told from a white woman's POV. I get that. Plus the trailer really doesn't sell it well, IMHO.
Will the characters in the film be as complete and complex as they are in the novel? I dunno... I haven't seen the film. So, I can't really critique it until I do.
In the meantime... you've seen the trailer (it's embedded again below if you haven't), here's the poster for DreamWorks’ adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, The Help, which stars Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Octavia Spencer and several others. The film, which I’ve already said likely represents the best possibility for an Oscar nomination by a black actor/actress this year (in Viola Davis and/or Octavia Spencer), will be in theaters this August.