Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate



Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Scorpio - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between Nov. 23 & Dec. 22.

2015 LIFE@50+ MIAMI

Miami skyline viewed through palm trees.

Enjoy fun in the sun during Life@50+, May 14-16, 2015

Most Popular


The Secret Lives of ‘The Help’

Viola Davis is brilliant in Tate Taylor's adaptation of a 2009 bestseller

From left: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in The Help

Viola davis (left) and Octavia Spencer give stirring performances in The Help. — Photo Courtesy Of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Tate Taylor
Rated PG-13,  Runtime: 137 mins.
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer

En español  |  Cultural historians who take issue with the accuracy of The Help are splitting hairs. This is a film based on a hugely popular novel that A) gives us a glimpse into a period of history from the perspective of a people we’ve yet to hear from; and B) celebrates the relations, in all their idiosyncrasies, of women (in this case living in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi) both white and black. What’s wrong with that? In addition, The Help offers up a great story and nuanced characters portrayed by some fine actresses.

Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 bestseller takes as its protagonist Skeeter (Emma Stone), an Ole Miss grad who returns to her native Jackson in the ’60s as a fledgling writer.

While penning a housekeeping column for the local paper, she befriends the black maids who work for local families, including her own. In the process, Skeeter morphs into a secret militant against discrimination — especially after her former best pal Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) begins a campaign as Junior League president to pass a bill requiring employers to provide separate, outdoor bathrooms for their “help,” supposedly to prevent the spread of disease. Skeeter knows first-hand, having been raised as much by an African American nanny as by her own mother (Allison Janney), that the “help” are a significant part of the family structure, and that requiring them to use segregated lesser facilities is not only unjust but cruel.

Next: Viola Davis talks about The Help. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Movies for Grownups Radio

Download weekly podcasts of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and more. Listen

Movies for Grownups Awards

AARP honors the films and filmmakers who make the movies we want to see. Read


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save up to 20% on live Cirque du Soleil shows with their AARP membership card.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Movies Unlimited

Members save 10% on purchases of DVDs & Blu-ray discs from Movies Unlimited.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.