“”The stain of racism and sexism is not just for people of color or women. It’s ALL of our burden. All of us… I don’t care how ordinary you may feel, all of us can inspire change. Every single one of us.”

Photo via CNN.com.

Those were the poignant and wise words uttered by Viola Davis tonight, who was resplendent in Marchesa as she shared the stage with the cast of her film The Help. Alongside her cast mates Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek and the legendary Cicely Tyson, Viola Davis was gorgeous and glorious and spoke so eloquently for her cast and in celebration of the women who helped to inspire The Help.

It was a beautiful moment, and that capped off an epic night at the SAG Awards for The Help. It proved to be an extra special night for Viola Davis. When she won her individual prize for Best Actress, she offered words of inspiration to kids who currently attend the middle school and high school that she did in Rhode Island – “Dream big. And dream fierce.”

Photo via facebook.com/essence

Viola may have won the award for best dress of the night, BTW! She looked GORGEOUS!

Octavia Spencer was visibly, genuinely moved by her victory, which came early on in the awards ceremony. Spencer looked beautiful, elegant, and safe in her lilac/greige dress by Tadashi Shoji. I wanted to see a touch of boldness, a pop of color…but she looked lovely nevertheless!

Photo via facebook.com/essence

She first explained why this was an honor greater than herself by saying “these women represent our mothers and grandmothers. By honoring me, you’re honoring them.” She then dedicated her award to slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and to women like those she portrayed in the film: “…the downtrodden, the under-served, the underprivileged, the overtaxed — whether emotionally, physically, or financially.”

I haven’t yet seen The Help. I’ve avoided seeing the film in the wake of all of the controversy. But now I am in full on Academy Awards preparation mode, and predictions are already being made for Oscar victory for these incredible actresses. So I’ll be seeing it soon!

What do you think, bellas? Did you love or loathe The Help? How did you feel about the film? How do you feel about the amazing awards for the cast? Do you love Viola’s dress as much as I do??



Crystal Gray says:
January 30, 2012, 2:11 am
I never read the book, but I did see the movie and I loved it! I get it's not accurate, I get it played into some of the same old stereotypes, and yes it would be best if the story of black America could be told by Black Americans. I agree with all of that 150% and I too dislike the stereotypes with a passion and I'm not even black American! But as I watched the movie, I stripped away the poor english and the white saviour and all the other stereotypes and what I saw was brave women who held their head up when their bosses would just as well hold it down to the ground. I saw grace under the most horrible of conditions in the racist south, and that is something everyone needs to see. I think the nonsensical philosphy of that time is so evident. These women basically mothered these kids and then could not use the toilet in the house??!! I had to laugh at the silliness of it all. I think the facts of what life was like during that time are represented and I think the strength of these women is evident. And I think that is the reason Viola and Octavia agreed to tell the story. And yes, Viola nailed it!! Geez those guns!! Must do more pushups!
Alicia says:
January 30, 2012, 7:28 am
I must confess that I have yet to read the book but I liked the movie. It was the Hollywood version of the American South pre Civil Rights era and a "cleaner" version of what really happened but I am okay that. The story was told...to some for the first time.
milaxx says:
January 30, 2012, 7:31 am
I too haven't seen The Help due to so much of the controversy. I also have a hard time swallowing the feeling that for much of Hollywood, other than a Madea film, the only way they will back a big budget film with a largely black cast is if it's something in the same vein as The Help or Driving Miss Daisy. That annoyed me so much that even Viola Davis, someone I have loved as an actress for years, could not get me to see it. Yet it is Viola, as well as Octavia and their brilliant, touching acceptance speeches that have me rethinking that stance. I may go see The Help after all.
Lauren Michelle Smith says:
January 30, 2012, 7:59 am
That dress Viola is wearing is fierce! Werk.
pets says:
January 30, 2012, 8:46 am
Loved the dresses! Loved that The Help won many awards. I haven't seen the movie (just clips) nor have I read the book but such a story needed to be told whether it was by black Americans or white ones - perhaps it is too close to the skin to be told by and viewed/read by black Americans....
Reecie says:
January 30, 2012, 10:29 am
I read the book earlier this year. It was a very good read and I promptly saw the movie afterwards. Some things varied, but the additions they made enhanced the film, IMO. I'm happy that they won. Regardless of the controversy surrounding it, I thought it was a great story nonetheless and their acting was superb while telling that story.
Reecie says:
January 30, 2012, 10:34 am
*last year* still forgetting its now 2012!!!
geejai54 says:
January 30, 2012, 11:08 am
As someones whose grandmother was the Help as was my mother and a few of my aunts, I read the book and saw the movie. It is an accurate depiction of that time in America. There were also those who were the Help to white families in the North. It is our history. While other ethic groups run and embrace and acknowledge their history we continue to run from it. Painful yes, ugly yes, but we should ensure that no one ever forgets. You will not find someone Jewish running from the history of the Holocaust. And when movies are made about it no ones complains about the casting or who made the movie. We stand on these women's shoulders ( The Help) and I applaud that someone at least told the story of these women who were invisible to much of America.
LaLa says:
January 30, 2012, 12:18 pm
It's funny because I've had the book long before the movie was even thought of, but I have never got around to reading it. Well, I saw where the movie was coming out and I was shocked because I had no clue it was about what it was. I had just heard it was a great book and ordered it out on either doubleday's website or black expressions, I can't remember. Anywho, after knowing what it was about, I had no interest, however, I do love Viola Davis as an actress and was thinking, "Well, I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD". But my hubby beat me to it, he rented it for me and I watched it and it actually wasn't a bad movie. Hilarious throughout thanks to Octavia Spencer, I was laughing and crying. So it was a really good movie.
Bigmamaree says:
January 30, 2012, 2:29 pm
I've read the book first, when I heard that it was being made into a movie. I have to say that the book was far more better than the movie BUT the movie was still very well portrayed. It was a story based on the "helps" side and of course there was one white girl that was able to make it happen. I'm happy that this movie is getting some props for bringing to light what we've always known but never spoke out loud. Though it was the book more than the movie. I think that you should take the time to read the books first, then watch the movie. Only because I think that you will have a better understanding and appreciation. Happy viewing!!
Kendra says:
January 30, 2012, 3:20 pm
I really did not let the controversy prevent me from loving that movie! The acting was superb... I felt for the domestic workers and really for all that black people had to endure during that era. These awards are richly deserved! As for Viola Davis... she was drop dead gorgeous! Love! Love! Love the dress!
Maven says:
January 30, 2012, 8:36 pm
First, congratulations to both ladies. They both looked fabulous! I read the book before the movie came out. I loved the book and really enjoyed the movie. The casting, especially Spencer and Davis was superb. Regardless of the subject matter, these ladies deserve their due. They are actors and they did that brilliantly.
Talisha says:
January 31, 2012, 6:57 pm
Congrats again and always to Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer...They did indeed rule the SAG awards and I love it!
Mary says:
October 29, 2014, 9:42 am
Viola Davis never ceases to inspire!


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