Screenplay written, and Directed by Tate Taylor
Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Bryce Dallas Howard
Movie review by Cynthia Rodriguez
This is the first time I can remember doing a book/movie review, and giving both FIVE stars. And it's very well deserved. As well deserved as the Oscar nominations it recieved this year, along with the SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) award for best cast in a film. I'm mucho happy it's being so recognized, and rightly so being that it was so beautifully made, and superbly acted. I believe it's a very important film that everyone should see. Very timely. Even in the year 2012. I pretty much love the movie, as much as I love the book. This is a rare occasion indeed.
Now I won't go into any type of synopsis because I've already done that. (See book review). I will, however indulge into some of the movie magic, and point out a couple things I failed to mention in the book review.
Now this movie is as close to the book as one can get. That is without turning it into a mini-series. It's already 2 1/2 hours long. But it's not the kind of long movie you couldn't watch over, and over again. It's not too "debbie downer", or anything that would stop me personally to a second helping of "The Help". It could've been. They did it just right. There was enough funny to balance out the heavy stuff.
The only, ONLY mini- complaint I have, (and it's very small), is the fact that they made Constanine's daughter black in the movie, when she was actually white in the book, which was really what all the fuss was about in that particular situation. It may not sound it, but being that racism is pretty much the theme here, it's kind of a big deal. Other than that, the movie was just...brilliant.
Now another note about the acting. I know it must have been difficult to pick just THREE from the movie to give Oscar nods. It was one of the times when the ENTIRE cast was just phenomenal. Jessica Chastain makes you fall in love with "Celia Foote", as well as her husband, Johnny. Not that I didn't in the book, but with the book I found myself feeling more sorry for her, but in the film I noticed I cheered for her more. Celia ultimately proves that her "white trash" self ends up having more class than Hilly or any of those snooty bitches she calls "friends". So Jessica definitely earned that nomination. Another one totally worth mentioning is Sissy Spacek, who was quite the leading lady herself back in the day, makes a wonderful "Ms. Walters", especially when she pokes fun at her evil daughter "Hilly". Speaking of Hilly, she's the type of character you just want to punch in the neck, and Bryce does an awesome job of you really hating her. Now's THAT'S acting. I think anytime I see her do anything else, I'll be like, "What a BITCH."
What's my favorite scene? The pie scene, of course! I must have seen that clip about a dozen times already. It just never gets old. The faces on all three characters during that scene is just absolutely priceless.
On the DVD I watched, unfortunetly there were not many special features at all, which was a bit disappointing being I'm such a special features freak. I can sit there (and I have) for endless hours with that, LONG after I've watched the film. Except for a couple of deleted scenes, and a lovely music video by Mary J. Blige, that was about it.
The other very touching part of the film, (as well as the book) is when they somewhat re-create very sad, and tragic, real life history event moments such as when activist Medgar Evans was shot, and killed in his driveway in front of his family (see "Ghosts Of Missippi" movie), and when Kennedy was killed. It all ties in with the hard life, and times of the people stuck in the middle of it all.
This movie is not only entertaining, but a history lesson we should all never forget, and a testamant to what the human spirit can accomplish when it's ready to make a change.