Friday, August 16, 2013
Lee Daniel's The Butler
I must admit I've never been a huge fan of Lee Daniels' films. (And as a Philadelphian, I could be strung up for saying that.) 'Precious' and 'The Paperboy' are both good films but overrated. And the lesser known 'Shadowboxer' was just bad. But Daniels has clearly learned a thing or two over the last decade and has put together an Oscar caliber film, with more than a little help from his cast.
The always amazing Forest Whitaker stars as a former cotton picker who has worked his way all the way to the white house, as a butler. Spanning from the 1920's until present day, Whitaker's character is an observer of the progression of civil rights for African Americans, and ultimately serves under eight American Presidents. In that respect, he's the black, non-mentally challenged 'Forrest Gump'. Whitaker gives an Oscar worthy performance (putting him on a short list of candidates for Best Actor as of now) as a black man who understands and accepts he's living in a white man's world (at least in his youth), and works hard to make the most of himself and provide for his family. Oprah Winfrey plays his wife, and the all star supporting cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, and Jane Fonda. It's an excellent movie that despite it's 2 hour and 6 minute run time leaves you wanting more. This is one to definitely go and see.