It is Oscar fever in LA and this evening Viola Davis, SAG Award winner for Best Actress, was at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for a screening of race relations picture THE HELP, nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis herself) and two for Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain).
The film is about racism and classism in Jackson, Missisipi in the mid sixties. A recent college graduate and aspirant author is able to convince Afro-American maids to tell and share their stories of injustice and abuse of powers suffered from nasty, biggot and comformist housewives who had been lovingly raised by black domestics.
In the film here is a lot of fine acting but honestly I did not like it so much. The subject – from the book “The Help” written by Kathryn Stockett – is extremely interesting and passionate. However, the whole film is covered by the usual Disney gloss. A lot of laughing and crying, nice pictures with the right music and the movement for civil rights far in the background.
In the Q&A session the only interesting moment beyond the usual chit chat was when Viola Davis herself admitted that very often making a movie in Hollywood is not much about cooperation but about adapting to the ideas of those who have the power…well, the money.