'The Help' Stars Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain To Battle It Out In Awards Season

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Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer in The Help
Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer in The Help

The Golden Globe nominations have added even more kudos to The Help's growing stature, with the Deep South drama receiving four nods.

The adaptation of the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain has today scooped a nomination for Best Drama, only one day after leading the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including the prestigious Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

The SAG and Golden Globe nominees all help bring into focus the favourite films and actors before Oscar voters, whose nominations come out January 24, have to take their pick.

But, in what could prove a blow, The Help nominations have seen its stars pitched up against each other in both awards ceremonies.

Viola Davis, who plays Aibileen Clark, the devoted maid to Elizabeth Leefolt and maternal nanny to Elizabeth's daughter little May Mobley, has piped the film's other lead actress Emma Stone to a nomination for Best Actress from the SAG's and the Golden Globes.

However, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain will go head to head for the Best Supporting Actress gong at the ceremonies after both receiving nominations.

In the film Spencer gives a memorable performance as Minny Jackson, a feisty maid who has to persevere with her mean, manipulative bigot of a boss Hilly Holbrook, that is, until Minny bakes her a one-of-a-kind chocolate pie.

Jessica Chastain also deserves her nod for her role as ditzy country girl Celia Foote. The wealthy social outcast strikes up an unlikely friendship with her new maid Minny after she's fired by Hilly, and now the actors who play the on-screen friends are to battle it out for top recognition from Hollywood.

Both Chastain and Spencer succeed in bringing Stockett's feisty boundary-pushing characters to life with conviction.

However, who will make it past the nominations stage and onto the red carpet will depend on industry luminaries faovuring their portrayal of friendship in a segregated 1960s Mississippi society over the likes of Shailene Woodley in The Descendants, Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs and Berenice Bejo in The Artist.

The Help's stars will also be hoping they don't encounter the same fate as Thelma and Louise co-stars, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandan, who were both nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars in 1992. In the event, they both lost out to Jodie Foster for her harrowing role in Silence Of The Lambs, with many convinced that the co-stars had suffered from a split vote.

Who do you think should be awarded Best Supporting Actress for The Help, Jessica Chastain or Octavia Spencer?

Around the Web

IMDb - The Help (2011)

Amazon.com: The Help (9780399155345): Kathryn Stockett: Books

The Help - Rotten Tomatoes