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Shown in Pittsburgh: ‘The Help’ (2011)

The Help

I will say that I do not like The Help (2011). It is safe, tucked away in the past with its infuriating villains and wisdom-bearing heroes. It is musically obvious–Johnny Cash/June Carter, Bob Dylan. And it cannot even stand to continue its final take through all of the credits: the black screen with its descending white letters baits Oscars more comfortably.

I will also say that I must defend The Help against all dismissive critiques and mindless bombardments (my own included). It has many cars colored with the brightest red. One drove by in clarity behind the bus, and I was sure it was a sign, like a fire engine. Its presence, flying loudly, an interruption. It shows the sheer obstructive ridiculous of white girl hair, the way it takes up a third of the screen. Shot-reverse shot becomes insane when all there is is strands of the stuff (one-third of screen space = 95% of mind). And it makes me wonder what is buried in white boxes in my own backyard. What sorts of bloody bodies? What sorts of passionless dismissals?