[Movie Review] Lee Daniels' The Butler

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5

Director: LEE DANIELS

Writing Credits: LEE DANIELS, Danny Strong and Wil Haygood

Notable Stars: Forest Whitaker (Cecil Gaines), Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan), James Marsden (John F. Kennedy), Liev Schreiber (Lyndon B. Johnson), Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines), David Oyelowo (Louis Gaines), Cuba Goodings Jr (Carter Wilson), Lenny Kravitz (James Holloway) and Terrence Howards (Howard)

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Synopsis

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LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. -Weinstein Co.

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The Script

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 Danny Strong who has journeyed from being one hell of a nerdy character from Buffy The Vampire slayer to being a 2 time Emmy award winning writer Danny Strong co-wrote the script for The Butler with Oscar award winning director Lee Daniels based on a feature article titled “A Butler Well Served by This Election.” by Wil Haygood in the Washington Post to commemorate the election of Barrack Obama as the first black president. It was a story about Eugene Allen (whose character was named as Cecil Gaines in the movie).

While many critics haven’t been very cool with the choice of style of narration, I rather found it interesting and absorbing. I liked the portrayal of Cecil Gaines’ family members from different points of views of the average ‘Negro’ family and there couldn’t have been a worse depiction of a father-son relationship. The funny twist to that was Eugene Allen(don’t worry, the name switching confuses me also) never had a freedom fighting son, or two sons, and most of The Butler by Lee Daniels was a ‘remix’ of Allens’ life into ‘Gaines’. It is a touching and emotional story which I particularly liked for its depiction of many of the events that shaped American history through the eyes of someone who didn’t really matter in the making of this decisions but was there every step of the way.

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The Directing

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Lee Daniels best known for directing the 2009 Oscar winning ‘Precious’ tried his best to give The Butler the Forrest Gump touch, but neither did it come close to Forrest Gump’s reputation or even his own movie precious. For me the glory wasn’t in the directing of this movie, in my opinion, it was just okay. However, even as a black man, making a racial movie without having to step on either black or white toes and more importantly a movie targeted at the Oscars is a very sensitive issue and Mr Daniels did handle this very professionally.

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The Acting

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Here lies the glory of The Butler. The Star studded cast which features almost every black American actor you know had a very talented cast which made The Butler a very enjoyable experience. Most outstanding in the movie are the fictional father and son in persons of Forrest Whitaker and David Oyelowo. Good to see actors of Nigerian origin dominating Hollywood.

The Verdict

The Butler earns a Popcorn and hotdog even though it is one of my favorite movies of the year (Confusing right? lol)

Sodas & Popcorn Rating3

Hve you seen The Butler? What do you think about it? Do drop your comments below and let us know. Thanks.

Before you go, we got several reviews of different movies from 2013 we would love to have you check out for your reading pleasure, so do feel free to click the links below. You won’t regret it. Thanks

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