Tag Archives: Allison Janney

The Help

Finally saw The Help yesterday.  I completely agree with most of the criticisms of the movie.  The white protagonist, soft-core telling of the violent struggles of the civil rights movement, and the broad stereotyping of domestic workers definitely cast a white-devil cloud over the story.  These very same critiques kept me away from the book.  Though flawed, The Help is enjoyable.  The story plods along like Mississippi in July, but when it finally gains a little momentum, it fills out to a fluffy little white-guilt souffle.  Villainous Junior Leaguer Hilly Holbrook (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) mean-girls her way through Jackson, tormenting members of both races indiscriminately.  Her bitchery alone warrants a rental.Octavia Spencer shines as Minny, and veterans Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek turn in reliably fantastic performances.  Emma Stone doesn’t completely embarrass herself, but she fails to stand out among the seasoned ensemble.

For You to Watch: Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous is an ahead-of-its time 1999 faux-documentary set in rural Minnesota.  Kirsten Dunst, Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Brittany Murphy, Amy Adams, and Denise Richards all contribute to the ensemble in this hilarious parody of small town beauty pageants.Several of these underrated female comics turn in fantastic performances in the vein of The Office years before Michael Scott was on the air.Denise Richards‘ acting career peaked with Becky Ann Leeman; you will love to hate her as Kirstie Alley’s crown-hungry daughter. A thick-accented Kirstie Alley kills as a pushy stage mother and pageant organizer vicariously living through her snotty over-privileged daughter.