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A Taste of The Help

April 18, 2011

Viola Davis, courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

I have not read Kathryn Stockett‘s The Help, but I am planning to snag a copy tomorrow. After it became a New York Times best-selling phenomenon, I should have bought it, but I didn’t. After I heard they were making a movie, starring Emma Stone (sorry; I don’t know her, but she’s apparently popular), Viola Davis (the amazing Academy Award-nominated mother from Doubt), and… Octavia Spencer?, I should have bought it, but I didn’t. The catalyst to get me off my dead ass and make the purchase? The 1-2 punch of an interview I read in Entertainment Weekly and this just-released trailer. In the interview, I learned that Stockett’s best friend since childhood, Tate Taylor, was the one and only option to direct the film. Despite the fact that it was a best-seller and everyone wanted to be involved, Stockett stuck to her guns and insisted that Taylor (who’s only previous directing gig was 2008’s Pretty Ugly People; although I did see that, as an actor, he had a role in 2010’s wonderful Winter’s Bone) be the one who oversaw the adaptation. Extra points. Also in the interview, I learned that the role of Minny was loosely based on the aforementioned Octavia Spencer (who I know, but… who else does?), Tate’s former roommate and friend of Stockett. They petitioned for Spencer to get the role, even though the studio wanted a bigger name. Again, extra points.

And now, for that trailer. The film opens August 12 and stars – besides the ladies listed above – Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, the prodigious Allison Janney, Aunjanue Ellis and Miss Cicely Tyson. After one viewing, the spark that Entertainment Weekly article started was ignited into a full-fledged blaze. This is the first of what will be several trailers, but here it is. Revel in what looks – at this point as least – a fine film.

Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures.

Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures.

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