All of my friends who have seen the movie "The Help" have told me what a great movie it is. I know that Oprah raved about it, but I have hesitated to see it because Melissa Harris-Perry, whom I greatly respect, detests it, and the book on which it's based. (see below)
I do read film criticism and in my younger days I was greatly influenced by the film criticism of James Agee, Dwight MacDonald, Dorothy Parker, Stanley Kauffmann, and Pauline Kael.
I still read film criticism in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vanity Fair but I am seldom swayed if a movie is one I think I would want to see by a favorite director or actor.
Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘The Help’ movie ‘ahistorical and deeply troubling’
Tulane Professor Melissa Harris-Perry broke down for Lawrence O’Donnell the new feel-good move The Help, which downplays the plight of black women during segregation.
“The problem is that it is so ahistorical as to be inaccurate,” Harris-Perry said Thursday after seeing the movie. “Look, the issues that faced African-American women were not ‘Real Housewives of Jackson, Mississippi,’ ‘Mean Girls’ behavior, it was rape, it was lynching.”
“I know there are a lot of bad movies and troubling books, but this one got to me.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s The Last Word, broadcast Aug. 10, 2011.