I have a bit of a crush on Emma Stone right now…and I think it has everything to do with the fact that she reminds me of the sassy and smart characters that she plays. The kind of characters who don’t take anyone else’s bullshit, say what’s on their minds, and are so content with themselves and who they are (we need more of these women).
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan, played by Stone in The Help, is such a character. A passionate young graduate, Skeeter is almost like a thorn among roses – more concerned with scoring her dream job as a writer than becoming a housewife. Of course, this confuses the hell out of her friends, who are torn between pity, disgust and the desire to help, and her mother, who feels her illness intensifying at the prospect that her only daughter will never find a husband.
But Skeeter does not worry about any of this, because she’s far too disillusioned with the treatment of the African-American women employed on minimum wage for maximum work in the homes of well-to-do women in Jackson, Mississippi. Determined to share their perspectives, she chronicles their experiences as the housemaids of ungrateful white women, igniting a wave of anger, contempt and fear in the process, but knocking some sense and inspiration in some hopefuls too.
Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help stars some Hollywood faves and newcomers, brings 1950’s southern America to life with amazing sets, costumes, plantations and accents, and breaks and warms your heart at the same time. I highly recommend it as an experience worth chasing, not just for its superb acting and relatable characters, but also for its subtle history lesson. That’s because it reminds us just how far we’ve come in half a century and how far we still have to go – all thanks to lessons about loving your enemy and no use being moral and upstanding if you’re going to be silent about an injustice.
Which, maybe what an Emma Stone type, and Eugenia Skeeter character, is all about.
On your Marks, Get Set, Chase:
The Help is now showing at cinemas across Australia.