Oscar History

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Entries in The Help (41)

Sep 12 2018

Viola Davis has regrets about 'The Help'

by Murtada Elfadl

Viola Davis has some regrets about her Oscar-nominated performance inThe Help(2011).In the film she played Aibileen Clark one of several black maids - along with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer - interviewed by a young white journalist (Emma Stone) who's writing a book about the racism and prejudice they faced in 1960s Mississippi.At the time the film faced criticism of having a white saviour problem.That is,only dealing with racism from the perspective of the white characters and what they do to combat it.

It's a story as old as film,with numerous examples.Some set in the US likeDriving Miss Daisy(1989) and others elsewhere,Cry Freedom(1990),to name just a couple.Davis agrees with that take,telling the NYTimes in a recent interview...

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Feb 23 2017

Black History Month: Spotlight on Octavia Spencer

by Steven Fenton

On February 26,2012,Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her endearing performance as the feisty Minny Jackson in Tate Taylor'sThe Help.With her win,Spencer joined an elite group,becoming just the sixth black actress to win an acting Oscar (and only the seventh overall,if you count Irene Cara's Original Song win forFlashdance,since she also starred in the film).Prior to 2011,Spencer had worked steadily since the mid-90s,gaining a reputation as a warm and generous co-star and a beloved character actress.So her win in February 2012 felt like an authentic opportunity for the academy to recognize an industry favorite.

Spencer was an indomitable force in the 2011 awards season,snatching wins at the Critics Choice,SAG awards,Globe Globes,and BAFTA,and beating out a talented crop of women in sensational breakout performances,including: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids),Shailene Woodley (The Descendants),and Spencer's co-star,Jessica Chastain (who had taken both the LA and NY Film Critics awards for her outstanding trio of performances inThe Help,Take Shelter,andTree of Life).Spencer's Oscar win was a foregone conclusion early in the race.The real competition that was year between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep in Leading Actress.Viola could have made history that night as the second black woman to win in lead,but it wasn't to be.Instead,Spencer walked away withThe Help's only win that evening.Little did we know then,Octavia's Oscar story wasn't over,and she definitely wasn't done making history...

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Nov 28 2016

Great Moments In...Truth Telling

#41 (Octavia Spencer inThe Help,2011)

Jul 20 2014

"Otherwise it goes in the pile"

Mary Steenburgen is always the boss of you.

(Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #1051: Mary Steenburgen inThe Help)

Mar 14 2014

Yes,No,Maybe So: "Get On Up"

You is kind.You is smart.You is important."

I loveThe Help(2011).I don't care who knows it.So I'm immediately curious aboutGet On Up,Tate Taylor's follow up which reunites Minny & Aibileen though they both take a back seat since this time it's the story of rock legend James Brown (Chadwick Boseman).This trailer also starts with an affirmative.

You special.And your momma's a no account fool.But you ain't gonna be.One day everybody gonna know your name"

JAMES BROWN [*makes applause sound*]

Okay so that's not as universal an affirmation but...wait.oh.That makes Viola Davis the 'no account fool'?Do over!Not sure I'm okay with this.Time for a Yes No Maybe So™

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Jan 23 2014

Happy National Pie Day!What's Your Favorite Pie Scene in a Movie?

my first pie I baked solo!Today is National Pie Day and if you don't celebrate it by watchingJosh Brolin and Kate Winslet make piesas a substitute/preamble to carnal rutting inLabor Day(reviewed), you should eat one.To the left you'll see me as the proud chef of my first pie a month back.It was pumpkin (duh!),messy,and a little burnt but I devoured it anyway.Despite the deliciousness I had planned for this Very Important Day,film festivalling has thrown off my other blogging instincts (I'll be back to normal Monday).So no big pie-celebrating top ten list or visual extravaganza for this very special day.

When I think of pies in the movie I often think ofThe HelporWaitressbut in neither of those cases would I want a slice,you know?The other most easy-to-retrieve pie memory is the now extinct slapstick gag of cream pies in people's faces.

Help me find better cinematic attachments to pies by citing your favorites in the comments.

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