It is definitely a daunting task for a star-studded and highly anticipated movie to live up to it's hype when it hits theaters. Though far from perfect "The Butler" definitely delivers a powerful and gripping spectacle as promised. There is something for everyone who goes to see this potential Oscar nominee.
Set during different stages of the civil rights movement, the film chronicles the life of Cecil Gaines (based on the real life story of Eugene Allen. Excellently portrayed by Forrest Whittaker we follow the time and troubles of a black butler who served the White House for over 34 years and 8 different US presidents. This film does a superb job of showing tremendous historical events through the eyes of its main character via his professional and personal experiences. The movies wonderful ensemble of stars and extraordinary production takes us on a ride through the triumph and tragedy of "The Butler." From humble beginnings of a sharecroppers son to retiring as the highest ranking butler in the White House, this amazing mans life comes full circle...but only after leaving his job.
The most powerful aspect of "The Butler" is the all star cast. In this day and age it is rare to see so many future and current legends in one movie. Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, John Cusack, Terrence Howard. Cuba Gooding Jr, Jane Fonda, and Vanessa Redgrave are among the strongest supporting cast you will see all year in any film. Winfrey and Gooding Jr are particularly strong in their portrayals and sometimes limited screen time. Seeing various well respected actors like Williams and Cusack focus their talents on portraying famous US presidents was a great treat for me!
Despite the film fast forwarding through some presidential terms and significant civil rights events, "The Butler" is a comprehensive, historical walk in time. 8 out of 10 presidential stars for this grand movie and its reminder of our rich yet checkered history as a country. The subtle yet moving ending will captivate and delight you.