On Saturday my sister came to hang out with the Savvy Saints while my brother & i zoomed out to see Lee Daniel’s “The Butler.” After a week of listening to Dwight Davis morning promotional plugs on WHRO, (our local Public Radio classical station), we were Not Disappointed with this absolutely AMAZING FILM!
Inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, who served 7 (or 8?) Presidents during 35+ years as a butler at the White House, this movie’s main character, Cecil Gaines, rises from abject poverty to serve the most powerful leaders in the land; along the the way he faces good times, bad times, and a whole lot in between.
Spanning U.S. history from 1926 to the (almost) present time, the movie chronicles the challenges of race injustices in the South, successive Presidential Administrations & the Civil Rights movement – but it’s also a powerful story about FAMILY: what matters in tough times, the struggle to sort life out amidst radical change & the enduring power of LOVE to overcome schisms of all sorts.
For sure, there are a few rough spots – it starts with a bang (literally.) As our history is violent, so, too, Cecil faces & overcomes violence in his life… and outrageous injustice … and sadness. But there’s also joy & laughter to be found in family, friends & colleagues (& even fashion!)
An absolutely stellar cast delivers a Five Star effort: Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines & Oprah Winfrey as his wife; David Oyelowo gives a powerful performance as his son Louis… Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda & many more light up the screen.
Forest Whitaker is OUTSTANDING as Cecil, but i was blown away by the depth of Oprah Winfrey’s performance as his wife, Gloria. I so admire, respect & appreciate Oprah for all she has done raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, malaria, education, literacy and many other important issues – but i had no idea what a fine actress she is. I surely hope she gets a nod from the Oscar crowd for her role in this movie – she deserves it. Totally!
Although this movie just opened Friday, it became the topic of conversation at an Afternoon Tea Party on Sunday – several ladies had already seen it and many wanted to go, especially after our dear friend Carol said, “The Butler is the best movie I’ve seen in a Very Long Time.”
Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” – catch it before it moves on, it’s really one NOT to miss!
grace, peace & INSPIRING MOVIES
Virginia : )
p.s. while zipping around the movie website, i found this REALLY cool film guide – with discussion questions, scripture verses & lots of material for mind-munching based on the issues raised in the film. Check it out - LeeDanielsTheButler/Guide.pdf