‘Fried chicken just tend to make you feel better about life’
I have a new, new favourite actress:
She has been in my all time favourite American drama series, West Wing, my favourite film of 2009, ‘Away We Go’ and now this, amongst other productions.
Allison Janney (I remembered her name!), plays the mother of the Skeeter and utters these lines which pretty much set the tone of the film:
‘Your eggs are dying, will it kill you to go on a date?’
From the off, I’m drawn to the home interiors; the film is based in the 1960s but happily the well to do featured are in a time warp so the furniture is from a bygone era but the frocks are delightfully 1960s, in a girlie rather than slutty way. The hair however, has a half a pint of hairspray glued on: goodness forbids any respectable lady having a hair out of place!
The story centres on the question, what’s it like to bring up other peoples white babies when yours are being looked after by someone else?
The question is uttered by a writer to the black maids looking after the society households in the southern state of USA who would have kept slavery legal if it was up to them. One of the main characters, Aibileen, has a regular mantra for the toddler she’s bringing up who’s own mother barely shows affection to; You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
Separate bathrooms for coloureds is just one issue bought up, which of course is hilarious to us but ridiculously true in an era of separate coloured sections on buses and in restaurants and the story included that it was illegal in the state of Mississippi to move books from ‘coloured schools’ to white schools.
What comes out of the film is the friendships lost and built; lost between the strong-willed Skeeter, who writes these maid’s stories for her book and her college pals – those who hire the maids – and the new bonds she then makes with the maids.
It’s a serious story told in a refreshing, enlightening and heart-warming way, bursting with thunderous humour.
I’ve never eaten friend chicken – yet – but this is the film of the year.
Smile factor 9½/10