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I've already said my piece about my concerns for the planned adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's The Help, a novel set in 1960s Mississippi about a young privileged white woman (to be played by Emma Stone in the movie) who writes a book documenting the voices of the black women who work as maids and nannies, a.k.a. "the help." The film will be directed by Tate Taylor, a relative newcomer who is also Stockett's childhood friend, and although Taylor is clearly a native Southerner, I've been worried about all the Yankees (like Stone) he'd be bringing into the cast.

But I forgot about one Yankee who gets a pass to do whatever she wants: Viola Davis. Variety is reporting that Davis is in talks to star as Aibileen, the oldest of the maids interviewed and the one who raised the white lead character, Skeeter. We all learned in Doubt that Davis can own the screen like no other, and the notion of her playing Aibileen-- a character who hides a lot of sadness to put forth a silent and helpful surface-- is about the best we could possibly hope for.

Davis is currently doing a stint on Broadway in Fences, and it's not clear when production on The Help might get started-- though I imagine everyone involved is keen to avoid shooting in Mississippi in the middle of summer. Davis is an excellent choice to get things started; just cast the other crucial role of outspoken Minny, I may be able to get over my concerns entirely.

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