The runaway summer movie hit, "The Help," is the next featured film in the Cinema Series at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. It will be screened on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, "The Help" stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Academy Award nominee Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk.
Skeeter is a society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives and the town upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories and as it turns out, they have a lot to say.
From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, "The Help" is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.
Amy Biancolli, in the Houston Chronicle, calls the film "splendid entertainment a film that makes us root for the good guys, hiss at the bad and convulse in laughter when good wreaks vengeance with a smile."
Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone, calls it "an exhilarating gift, a deeply touching human story filled with humor and heartbreak, and sublime performances."
Tom Long, in the Detroit News, says "appalling, entertaining, touching and perhaps even a bit healing, 'The Help' is an old-fashioned grand yarn of a film, the sort we rarely get these days."
Claudia Puig, of USA Today, says "fans of the best-selling novel can rest easy; the warmly engaging book has been made into an equally affecting movie."
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, "The Help" runs 146 minutes.
Tickets to the Opera House Cinema Series are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students & children) the night of each screening. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The Cinema Series continues with the sci-fi character drama "Another Earth" on Oct. 8 & 11.
Chautauqua County's only year-round performing arts center, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.