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‘Change begins with a whisper’

August 10, 2012
By Tom LaVille , Times-Republican

Whether you're a film connoisseur or a casual moviegoer, you are probably acquainted with this week's movie at the Orpheum Theater. This small film was nominated for four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (2) and Best Actress in a leading role. The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress went to Octavia Spenser for her work in "The Help."

"The Help" is set in the South during the 1960s. The story centers around an up-and-coming journalist played by Emma Stone. As she struggles to find her voice, she becomes aware of the plight of the black women who do household chores and child care for the upper crust white women of Southern society. The story centers on two woman, Skeeter (Emma Stone) and Aibileen (Viola Davis). Most of the black women are suspicious of Skeeter at first, but one by one they begin to tell their stories about their positions in the community. I especially liked the work of Emma Stone. This young actress makes it look so easy. She has a beautiful acting style and has stood out in every film in which she has been involved.

The film is based on the controversial best seller, "The Help" written by Kathryn Stockett. The story, set in Mississippi during the beginning of the civil rights movement, also touches on the historical happenings of the time, i.e. the deaths of Medger Evers and JFK. The actors do an outstanding job. The direction is done admirably by Tate Taylor, a beginning director and childhood friend of Stockett. The mix of humor, tension and independence are handled well. The film is full of wonderful cinematography, humorous dialogue and outstanding characters.

The show times are 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit the theatre for tours, or call the Orpheum Theater Center movie hotline at 641-844-5907 or visit


Tom LaVille is a retired Marshalltown drama and literature teacher and is heavily involved in the Marshalltown Community Theatre. LaVille's Critic's Corner column appears Friday in the Times-Republican.



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