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August 12th, 2011

Movie Review - The Help

The Help




Starring: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Chastain, Ahna o'Reilly, Allison Janney, and more.


Directed by: Tate Taylor Screenplay by: Tate Taylor Based on the Novel by: Kathryn Stockett Original Music by: Thomas Newman


Premise:  A young woman, who's come back home from college, notices how the colored maids are being treated and decides she'd like to do a book from their point of view -- one where people can see what it's like to be them, how they feel, how they see life, how they do their work and raise other people's children in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.


Review:  This was a beautiful movie with many levels.  It isn't just a film showing the travails of colored women, but women in all walks of life during the 1960's. 


The chains were worn by not only by the maids but also by the white women who hired them. It's a movie about expectations.  Expectations for Negroes, for women (white and colored), from the different levels of society and their peers. 


The story unfolds slowly, like anything worth doing in the south. It's a testament of courage and trust and moving past what they've been taught all their lives, even as we see pieces of history happening in the background to ground the events in history. (One interesting thing was all the info on Medgar Evers - I'd not heard of him before this point but reading about him after was very interesting. A definite fighter for civil rights.)


It's quite possible Academy Awards will be won from the great work done in the film. Viola Davis has my vote, as well as Octavia Spencer. Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard as well. If Sissy Spacek does not win the Best Supporting Actress award, it'd be a darn shame.


The film is full of poignant and humorous moments. The building of several secrets and their revelations. What I liked most was that these ladies did what they did despite the very real danger they were in. A danger that is subtly shown and you can feel the fear and uncertainty as matters move along. 


This would be an excellent film to show younger generations to give them a taste of a way of life they know nothing about. Very well worth it. And if you're like me, make sure to take a hanky. You'll need it by the end.


Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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