Saturday, 12 November 2011

Change Begins With A Whisper

Last night, I finally managed to go and see "The Help." I can't deny feeling skeptical about going to see the film adaptation as I was a HUGE fan of Kathyrn Stockett's book. But it's safe to say I was not disappointed. 
Whilst the acting and story-line are superb, what really blew me away were the beautiful costumes.

Costume designer Sharen Davis did such a fantastic job at creating the perfect, pretty dresses we saw on screen. Sculpted out of a sugary pastel palette combined with bold floral prints that are so perfect for the Southern Belles of the film circa 1960.
My favourite adaptation has to be Celia Rae Foote (played by Jessica Chastain). Labelled the 'white trash' wife, this character is shunned by the other Jackson women. Davis gave her a look that was "very Hollywood...but tacky and country" As Celia so looked up to idols of the time, primarily Marilyn Monroe, this was perfect.

Another fantastic adaptation was that of Skeeter (played by Emma Stone.) She's a 23-year-old with a cotton trust fund and a college degree. But to her mother's despair, she is more concerncerned in pusruing her career than a husband. The futher away she moves away from the Junior League mentality of her friends in Jackson, the more she devotes herself - at considerable risk - to a contraversial book featuring the real stories of the black women who work for the white families in her hometown. She breaks all the rules and crosses dangerous lines.

The book itself delved into memorable fashion moments; for example when Skeeter went shopping for her new wardrobe and stocked up on new Pucci dresses! So the task of adapting these exciting written moments onto the screen was no mean feat for Davis (who is also behind the wardrobes of retro hits Dreamgirls and Ray) 
But she gave each character their own colour palette to make sure they looked authentically Jackson, Mississippi. And she succeeded.
To top things off, "The Help" soundtrack is an excellent trip down memory lane. Featuring a great line up with tunes by Johnny Cash and June Carter, Ray Charles, Franki Valli and Chubby Checker, as a standalone mixtape, it's pretty rad. As a soundtrack, it seems no expense was spared and it really added some authenticity to the 1960s set.  I've posted two of my favourites below to finish off.


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