Is it more important to structure your story in a way that gives your audience a clear, concise view of what it is you're trying to say? Or, is it more productive to focus on what you say and how it's going to make your audience feel?
It's a tough thing to accurately gauge how well a movie would have done if not for an unforeseen variable, such as in this case a massive hurricane that threatened much of the East Coast of the country and shut down hundreds of movie theaters over the weekend.
As expected, the summer reached its climax this weekend with an ugly pileup, as four new releases failed to achieve anything resembling success, with three of those releases being in 3D and two of them chasing the exact same demographics.
This film tells a story many blacks and whites would rather forget, how black women stepped up and did what they must to survive. That's a story important enough to make all the film's faults minor by contrast.
I read an Amazon review of the novel that told a reader not to worry that they would have to read over 400 pages of depressing oppression. This is true -- "The Help" makes Jim Crow palatable. I don't think this is a good thing.
Octavia Spencer may be best known to devotees of Ugly Betty as Constance Grady, the IMS agent who stalked Betty's father. Her film resume is varied, but she says, The Help was especially close to her heart.
We had two cleaning ladies, Mary and Nancy, a pair of sisters who alternated their weekly visits. One day, Nancy came to work in tears, unable not to cry in front of my mother. "They gonna take Mary's kids away," she sobbed.