The Hired Help

Cinema loves a good story about hired help. The Merchant/Ivory film The Remains of the Day remains the gold standard--in my opinion--but plenty of others have examined the treasure trove of material inherent in a good master and servant tale. My Man Godfrey, Gosford Park, Sunshine Cleaning and (shudder) Maid in Manhattan have all taken a look at themes like loyalty, class, identity, ambition and Jennifer Lopez's ass. But there's still plenty of room to take a deeper look at the subject, particularly when any one of these issues makes for such a ripe plot point. The Maid is the latest entry into the genre, a story focusing on the titular maid who loses sight of the fact that she's not truly a member of the family she has served for 23 years. The film, by director Sebastian Silva, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for its unsentimental but affecting portrait of a woman struggling to understand her own identity. The Maid plays at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St. Tickets are $8.50. Visit
Jan. 29-31, 2010

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