The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone. The film and novel recount the story of young white woman and aspiring journalist Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan. The story focuses on her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, during the Civil Rights Movement in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. In an attempt to become a legitimate journalist and writer, Skeeter decides to write a book from the point of view of the maids—referred to as "the help"— exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families.
DreamWorks Pictures acquired the screen rights to Stockett's novel in March 2010, and quickly commissioned the film into production with Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Brunson Green as producers. The film's casting began later that month, with principal photography following four months after in Mississippi.
Touchstone Pictures released The Help worldwide, with a general theatrical release in North America on August 10, 2011. The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving positive reviews and grossing $216 million in worldwide box office. The Help received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress for Davis, and Best Supporting Actress for both Chastain and Spencer, with the latter winning the award. The film also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.