《帮助》改编自 Kathryn Stockett 的同名小说，讲述20世纪60年代美国密西西比发生的社会现象。一位大学女孩Skeeter非常看不惯美国社会对黑人女佣的不公平对待，想通过写书来帮助这些女佣脱离困境。
The Help is a 2011 drama film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name. The film is an ensemble piece about a young white woman, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, and her relationship with two black maids during Civil Rights era America in the early 1960s. Skeeter is a journalist who decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of the maids (known as the Help), exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families.
The film takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel, Mary Steenburgen, and Allison Janney. The Help opened to positive reviews and became a massive box office success with a gross of $$206.7 million against its budget of $$25 million. In January 2012, the film received four Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture and acting nods for Davis, Chastain and Spencer. On January 29, 2012, The Help won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a middle-aged black maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son. Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is another black maid whose outspokenness has gotten her fired many times and built up a reputation for being a difficult employee, but she makes up for this with her phenomenal cooking skills.
Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has recently moved back home to her family's plantation after graduating from the University of Mississippi to find that her beloved childhood maid, Constantine (Cicely Tyson), has quit while she was away. Skeeter is skeptical because she believes Constantine would have written to her.
Unlike her friends who attended university to find husbands, Skeeter finds her friends are all married and having children, while she is single, has a degree and wants to begin a career as a writer. Her first job is as a "homemaker hints" columnist in the local paper, and she asks Aibileen, the maid to her good friend Elizabeth, for her help in answering domestic questions. Skeeter becomes uncomfortable with the attitude her friends have towards their "help," especially Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her "Home Help Sanitation Initiative," a proposed bill to provide for separate bathrooms for black help because she believes that 'they' [black people] carry different diseases to 'us' [white people]. Amidst the era of discrimination based on color, Skeeter is one of the few who believe otherwise, and she decides to write a book, The Help, based on the lives of the maids who have spent their entire lives taking care of white children.
The maids are at first reluctant to talk to Skeeter, because they are afraid that they will lose their jobs or worse. Aibileen is the first to share her stories after she overhears Hilly's initiative and realizes that the children whom she has been raising are growing up to be just like their parents. Her friend, Minny, has just been fired as Hilly's maid for using their bathroom during a tornado storm instead of going to use the separate outdoor toilet. Hilly poisons all the other families against Minny making it impossible for her to find other work, and her daughter is forced to drop out of school to find a job as a maid. Minny initially declines to participate in Skeeter's book but later agrees to share her stories as well. Aibileen helps her find work with Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain), who is married to a rich socialite (Mike Vogel), but is an outcast from the other society ladies due to the fact she was born into a working class family and her husband is Hilly's ex boyfriend. Also unlike Hilly, Celia seems to treat Minny with far more respect.
Skeeter writes a draft of the story with Minny and Aibileen's stories in it and sends it to Miss Stein (Mary Steenburgen), an editor for Harper Row, in New York, who thinks there may be some interest in it, but requires at least a dozen more maids' contributions before it can become a viable book. Believing that the book will only be publishable during the Civil Rights movement, which she likewise believes is a passing fad, Stein advises Skeeter to finish the book soon. No one comes forward until after Medgar Evers is assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, and until after having witnessed Hilly's latest maid's brutal arrest (for attempting to pawn one of Hilly's essentially worthless rings to pay for her twins' college tuition, after Hilly had refused to give her a loan) – with racial tensions running high, the maids realize that Skeeter's book will give them an opportunity for their voices to be heard, and Skeeter suddenly has numerous stories to include. Minny shares one last story with Skeeter and Aibileen, which she calls the "Terrible Awful," to ensure that no one will reveal that the book was written about Jackson, Mississippi. As revenge for being fired and accused of stealing, Minny bakes a chocolate pie and delivers it to Hilly. After Hilly has finished two slices, Minny informs her that she has baked her own feces into the pie. Minny tells Aibilene and Skeeter that if they add that part into the book, Hilly will try to prevent anyone from figuring out that she made her eat human feces and will convince the town that the book is not about Jackson. The book is almost finished except for Skeeter's own story of being brought up by Constantine. Skeeter manages to find out what happened to Constantine when her mother, Charlotte (Allison Janney), finally explains that she fired her in order to save face during a reception. Afterwards feeling guilty about it, Charlotte sends Skeeter's brother to bring Constantine home from Chicago where she is living with her daughter Rachel, but he discovered that she had died not long after leaving Jackson.
The book is accepted for publication and is a success, much to the delight of Skeeter and the maids. She shares her royalties with each of the maids who contributed, and is offered a job with a publishing company in New York. She tells her boyfriend about the job and the book, and he immediately breaks up with her. Later in the afternoon, Hilly hatches a plan to get rid of Aibileen as Elizabeth's help, by falsely accusing her of stealing silver while arranging it for meetings. As Aibileen tries to convince Hilly and Elizabeth (Ahna O'Reilly) of her innocence, Elizabeth's daughter, Mae Mobley, arrives and jumps on top of her, watching Aibileen being fired. Aibileen denounces Hilly as a godless woman and tells her that she will never have peace if she continues her vindictive ways and leaves her in limbo. Elizabeth is forced to accept the unacceptable firing of Aibileen, and Mae Mobley cries by the window shouting for Aibileen, as the maid leaves to start her own life. And Skeeter leaves Jackson to start her new life as a writer in New York.