In Movie Theaters August 16, 2013
★★★ (out of five stars)
From the Oscar nominated director of Precious and bully of Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, comes, The Butler, 'inspired' by a true story.
The Butler tells the story of a black man who was a butler at The White House for decades, but 99% of the movie is hogwash, when compared to the true story. Why the studio was even markerting it as a true story is suspect.
First of all, the name of the real butler at The White House was Eugene Allen.
In the movie we have Cecil Gaines.
In the movie, Cecil Gaines sees his mother raped and father shot in the head on a plantation in the south, when he is a child. None of this really happened to the real Eugene Allen.
In the movie, Cecil Gaines has two sons, one who dies in the Vietnam War. One who is a Freedom Fighter. In real life, the man, Eugene Allen, had one son, who neither went to Vietnam, let alone died, nor was a Freedom Fighter.
In the movie Cecil Gaines's wife is an alcoholic philanderer. In real life, the wife of Eugene Allen was neither.
And on and on, to the point you keep asking, once you're aware of this foolishness, why this movie was even made - based on a true story - rather than just the fiction that it is?
Setting all of that aside, The Butler has some fantastic acting. Forest Whitaker is superb, Oprah is Oscar worthy and it is probably that The Weinstein Co. will buy a few Golden Globe Awards for the movie - yes, all studios bribe the members of The Hollywood Foreign Press, who vote for the Golden Globes.
The Academy, who hands out Oscar nominations and Oscar statues, will most likely also be getting barraged by The Weinstein Co. for the performances of Oprah and Forest Whitaker. Oprah will most likely win, Forest Whitaker will not.
The direction of the movie The Butler is sloppy and Lee Daniels definitely needs to go back to film school. His Oscar nomination for Precious was truly unwarranted, and if there is any sense with the Academy this year, he will not be invited back to Oscar this time around.
STARRING: Forest Whitaker, Terrence Howard, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alan Rickman, Robin Williams, Alex Pettyfer, Jesse Martin, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Melissa Leo, Mika Kelly, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz
DIRECTOR: Lee Daniels
STUDIO: The Weinstein Co.
RATING: PG-13 (For language)