THE HELP
2011, Walt Disney Pictures, 146 min, USA, Dir: Tate Taylor

In the summer of 1963, recent college graduate and aspiring author Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns home to Jackson, Mississippi for the summer, only to discover that the friends she left behind (a fire-breathing Bryce Dallas Howard among them) have become malignantly conformist housewives-in-training, with nasty racist opinions suddenly in full swing. Stunned by how the same young girls who were so lovingly raised by black domestics could grow up to be such biggots, Skeeter suddenly realizes the book she wants to write: a collection of interviews with black maids in her community. Particularly hesitant is Abileen Clarke (an excellent Viola Davis), who doesn't want to stir up trouble, but when the racist atmosphere of Jackson reaches a dangerous fever pitch with the assassination of Medgar Evers, she knows her story must be shared at any cost. With an impressive supporting cast including Jessica Chastain as the good-hearted, bottle-blond outsider in town, Octavia Spencer as Abileen's smart-mouthed friend and fellow domestic and Allison Janney as Skeeter's cancer-stricken mother. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Davis) and two for Best Supporting Actress (Spencer and Chastain).


GREAT EXPECTATIONS
1946, MGM Repertory, 118 min, UK, Dir: David Lean

The film that set the standard for all Dickens adaptations before or since. Director David Lean’s early masterpiece opens with the awesome images of a convict stumbling across a storm-wracked moor, and then plunges us into the story of an impoverished underdog, Pip (John Mills) trying to defy the rigid caste system of Victorian England. Co-starring Alec Guinness (in his first film for Lean), Jean Simmons, Francis L. Sullivan and Valerie Hobson, with Oscar-winning, black-and-white photography by Guy Green. "Probably no finer Dickens film has been made than Lean’s GREAT EXPECTATIONS." – Michael Pointer, Charles Dickens On Screen.


THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH
2011, 96 min, USA, Dir: Jim Hemphill

Musician Robert (John Shea) is a perpetual starving artist with low overhead and minimal commitments. When Robert’s daughter announces that she’s engaged, he advises her against it - his own marriage to Emily (Lea Thompson) didn’t last, and he doesn’t understand why anyone would want to give up their independence. Yet when Robert and Emily reunite and dredge up old memories and hurts, both discover they have a lot of unresolved issues and that love, marriage and divorce aren’t quite as simple as they’d like. With Danielle Harris and Keri Lynn Pratt.

"Two people revisiting their long-ago marriage over dinner should-in theory-make a better stage play than a movie, but John Shea, Lea Thompson, and writer-director Jim Hemphill defy this beautifully in THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH. There isn’t a false note in either the dialogue or the performances. The characters as written and played have such intricate backstories, such complicated mixtures of motive, that their evening grows uniquely, movingly suspenseful." -The Village Voice

"Not since MY DINNER WITH ANDRE has a film consisting largely of a single conversation been such compelling viewing." -The Hollywood Reporter


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