THE HELP concludes the 15th season of Movies in the Park tonight

The Help PosterMovies in the Park finishes its 15th season tonight with THE HELP.

Based upon the novel of the same name, The Help follows a young white woman and her relationship with two African-American maids during the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi in the year 1963. In an effort to legitimize her writing career, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan decides to write a book from the maid’s viewpoints, exposing the racism they face from the white families that employ them.

It stars Octavia Spencer (in a performance very worthy of the Oscar she earned for it), Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, and Cicely Tyson.

Families, picnics, and leashed pets are invited to the park to enjoy movies under the stars, but no glass containers. Don’t forget the bug spray! An adult must accompany all children under the age of 18 and an ID is required. Chaperoned youth, sports, church and other groups are welcome!

The First Security Amphitheater will open an hour before film showings (approx. 7:30) and movies with begin at sundown each week (approx. 8:30).

For more information about Movies in the Park and to see which films will feature live performances or other activities before the showings, visit www.rivermarket.info or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lrrivermarket

Rock the Oscars: Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek during 53rd Annual Academy Awards’ Governor’s Ball at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

The spate of 1980s musical biopics can be traced to the success of 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter.  Nominated for seven Oscars, it captured a Best Actress statuette for Sissy Spacek, who played the title character.

Loretta Lynn, has never been nominated for an Oscar (yet) but wrote the book and lived the life on which the film was based.  (Arkansan Levon Helm was robbed of a nomination for playing Lynn’s father in the film.)

Over her career, Lynn has made numerous appearances in Little Rock, gradually moving up the billing until she was the star attraction.  Among her most recent appearances were a 2007 concert at Robinson Center (with three generations of Lynns and Webbs–the latter being her maiden name), and a 1997 concert at Wildwood Park.

While musical biopics were quite popular in the 1930s through 1950s, by the 1960s and 1970s, they had fallen out of favor.  But the success of Coal Miner’s Daughter led to numerous (countless?) on the big screen and TV.  Spacek ably captured Lynn’s grit, warmth, and talent in a well-deserved Oscar turn.