Nearly 100 years after Lincoln freed the slaves, proper Southern ladies entrusted the raising of their children to women of color, but wouldn't let them use their toilets.
This is the story of "The Help," the highly watchable movie of the bestselling novel. It has humor and pathos without feeling condescending, and a mighty cast of females to be reckoned with.
Viola Davis gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Aibileen, the granddaughter of a Mississippi house slave who raised 17 white children, perhaps better than their natural mothers. Her good friend Minny (fabulous Octavia Spencer) is a true force of nature.
In the vicious, violent days of the early civil rights movement, Aibileen risks all to tell her stories to Skeeter (a very grownup Emma Stone), an aspiring journalist who wanted a record of Southern living from the maids' point of view. Cicely Tyson makes a small but wrenching appearance as the woman most responsible for Skeeter's independent spirit.