Even reviewers who don’t care for the film adaptation praise the acting of Viola Davis. Here’s what NPR’s Ella Taylor has to say:
In his lumbering way, Taylor makes Stockett’s story his own by expanding the book’s mild lavatorial metaphors for the ill-considered farce that pretty much takes over the movie’s last act. All of which shoves into the background some beautifully tempered acting by one of our great character actresses. Holding the line for intelligent restraint, Davis’ Aibileen subtly navigates the blend of loyalty and rising anger that binds her to her employers, then leads her to break free. Under Davis’ skillful hand, Aibileen emerges as the reluctant heroine of The Help, the dignified face of nonviolent resistance, and the one who argues wordlessly for the union between two people on opposite sides of the racial divide that ends this rather wishful tale.