Sun 25 Sep 2011
The purpose of my blog entry today is first to share an observation about movie-going in America today and then to make some observations about the exceptional movie we saw last night — “The Help”.
The fact is, we rarely go to movie theaters anymore. It’s just too easy to wait a few months and rent movies on DVD for much less money. With Blue Ray, surround sound and large screen televisions, it just makes sense to wait. Add another reason after our experience at the theater last night.
From the moment we walked in, we were assaulted – that is the word – with a barrage of noise and visual images in rapid succession. It was pure cacophony. With the exception of one trailer for an upcoming Steven Spielberg film entitled “War Horse”, every movie seemed to think it necessary to assault our senses with sound and rapid fire images. It didn’t work for me. In fact, I felt so assaulted that I wanted to get up and walk out of the theater. I’ve certainly decided to limit future movie-going to the local art theater. I have no interest in subjecting myself to such a barrage again. Is this really what sells movies these days?
The movie we went to see was ’The Help” and it was marvelous. It could well win “Best Picture” this year; it will certainly be one of the nominees. This movie had everything I look for in a movie: great acting, fine screenplay, outstanding production values and importantly, meaning. I’ve rarely seen a more meaningful and powerful movie.
There can be little doubt that America still has deep wounds from the legacy of slavery and the oppression of African Americans by white America, wounds that still throb in the American psyche. How could an injustice so profound and so great not still throb? I can only hope that in educating all Americans about the dark side of the country’s history that movies such as this expand the national consciousness with the promise of a better and more just America in the future. One can only hope. See the movie if you haven’t. It is a true gem.