'The Help' review: A must-see film filled with powerful performances

LOS ANGELES

/*Viola Davis*/ turns in an emotionally charged performance as Aibileen Clark, the first maid willing to share her stories during this turbulent time in history. She gives an incredible performance.

/*Emma Stone*/ is also terrific as Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, the young woman hoping to help tell their stories about what it's like to work as a maid. At only 22, I'm already convinced she can play pretty much anything.

Playing Charlotte Phelan, Stone's mother, /*Allison Janney*/ is so good -- sometimes weak, sometimes strong, sometimes funny.

And in a career-defining role, /*Octavia Spencer*/ is fascinating, flawed, fun and even ferocious as fellow maid Minny Jackson, who also opens up to the young writer.

There is not a bad performance in "/*The Help*/" and each character brings something different to the table.

/*Jessica Chastain*/, who's outstanding, brings sweetness, sadness and vulnerability. /*Bryce Dallas Howard*/ is tremendous as a vile woman who has no idea how horrible she is. And /*Sissy Spacek*/, as her mother, adds a real spark to the story, she's slightly wicked and superbly wonderful in her supporting role.

Director /*Tate Taylor*/ and the author of "The Help," /*Kathryn Stockett*/, have known each other since they were 5 years old. Taylor hired a lot of people he's worked with in the past because he told me making movies is hard so he wanted to surround himself with a family of friends. And it works!

"The Help" is the best movie I've seen so far this year.

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