One of the main things I take into consideration as I watch the Academy Award nominees for “Best Picture” each year is how a movie matches up against my initial expectations. Now, my rankings (to the right –>) are not my predictions, but my own rankings of the films. I will give my predictions later, closer to the Academy Awards ceremony.

The Help, written for the screen and directed by Tate Taylor (based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett), is a movie that greatly surpassed my expectations. When the film was released in August, I had zero interest in watching. As a female friend told me, “It just looks like a gossip chick flick.” I suppose that is pretty close to my initial and uneducated impression as well. I was wrong and I am very glad The Help was nominated for “Best Picture,” forcing me to watch.

Rightfully so, The Help has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including: Best Picture, Actress In a Leading Role (Viola Davis) and Actress In a Supporting Role (Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer). To be honest, Emma Stone probably deserved a nod in the Actress In a Leading Role category and Bryce Dallas Howard in the Actress In a Supporting Role, as well.

The Help is funny, sad and happy and very well-acted and never dull from beginning to end.

RECOMMENDATION

To date, The Help my favorite of the Oscar nominated films. As of now, I don’t have the feeling the film will win, but I enjoyed the movie immensely.

The Help has an 8.0/10 rating on IMDB, is 76% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 62/100 Metascore.