Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Help and Mississippi Catholics

The movie "The Help" is opening in Jackson today. The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Mississippian Kathryn Stockett and was filmed in Mississippi, most notably in Greenwood and Jackson.

"Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up"
It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that many of our readers (of the 5) could be featured in the movie as there was a broad casting call for the film. However, one prominent Ole Miss luminary and Catholic did get a special casting call from the director himself. I am referring to Dean of Students, Sparky Reardon!

Those who are regulars to the 5pm Ad Orientem Mass on Sundays in the summer may have noticed that Sparky has been absent from his all-time reader duties. Well, he's been to LA with the movie's promotion but promised he will return. For those of you interested in Sparky's earlier film work, click here. It's safe for work, by the way.

I personally enjoyed the book and loaned it out to almost everyone. The epilogue includes some personal notes by the writer to explain some of her struggles with writing the novel. She included the dialect of Southern Blacks and used actual real-world places and events to flesh out the story. It has been met with praise and scorn from critics for this choice. However, our diocese has shown some favor toward it (as well as including a SPOILER in the interview). Since the paper is Bishop Latino's voice to the diocese, that can be sort of an imprimatur!

And Catholic Rebel, Leigh Cummins also got a sweet scoop at the movie's premiere in Mississippi for the Clarion-Ledger interviewing the cast including lead actress, Emma Stone!

I'm proud of all these connections and hope the movie will do well. I haven't been totally blown away by any summer movies, even the superhero ones, so maybe "The Help" will be the one. For gossakes, it's got Sparky in it! I'm already giving it 3 stars!