I realize it's probably not such a great idea to write reviews right after I've seen the movie but what the heck.
I have not read the book (yet) but my mum has and she loved it so we thought it would be a good mother daughter movie night. My mum described it, after we left the theatre, as "not a one tissue movie". So with that, yes, it was a sad film that dealt with some sensitive issues but in such a way that had you laughing and clapping one scene and tearing up in the next. As with all good movies it had a lot to do with the casting. I could talk about how awesome I think Emma Stone is but I did that yesterday with Crazy, Stupid, Love so I'm going to talk about the women who played Aibileen and Minny.
Aibileen is incredibly kind and loving and a true mother but is also broken as it is revealed not to far along that she lost her son. She has spent the majority of her life raising white children as do all the maids in this film but it is different for her as she loves them as if they were her own. Viola Davis did a beautiful job and made every moment she was onscreen full of emotion. A lot of characters in this story have heartbreaking pasts (and presents) but I think hers got to me the most.
Minny definitely got the most laughs out of the audience, even resulting in applause in some scenes. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm just going to say she's got spunk, and a lot of it. Minny's storyline becomes interwoven with Celia, another one of my favourite characters (I have a lot okay). Again, without spoiling anything I think Celia's story is incredibly heartbreaking but also heartwarming how Minny is able to help her and be an amazing friend to her in a society where is was unheard of to socialize between races. Celia doesn't once treat Minny any differently because of her race, in fact she gets upset when Minny tries to tell her that they are not meant to eat dinner together.
I really just wanted to talk about those characters because I thought they made the movie for me. Additionally, Allison Janney was fantastic as always, and Bryce Dallas Howard played a very convincing bitch. If you are going to spend your money on any movie in the next while I definitely think anyone can appreciate this film. I expect to see it at the Oscars (or at least hope).