It is a story of political, social and familial relationships set upon the backdrop of the civil rights movement. It contains an all-star cast in the persons of Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding Jr., Mariah Carey, Clarence Williams III, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz and Robin Williams.
The movie, ‘The Butler’, directed by Lee Daniels, delivers all it has been hyped to be and more. The story line takes place during various presidential tenures beginning with Eisenhower and progressing to our 44th president, Barack Obama. (This writer, however, did notice the absence of the Clinton and both of Bush administrations.)
The story speaks to the persistence, perseverance and determination that was, and is, inherent in a group of people seeking change. There are various news clips throughout the movie which provide a historical perspective as the story of the butler is told.
There is a dichotomy evident as the status quo, in the form of an older generation, is juxtaposed beside the necessary and forthcoming change, provided by a younger generation. The film moves along many levels as it explores the ties that bind the characters.
The story is told through the evolution of a young boy from the cotton fields to the White House. The butler, played by Forest Whitaker, becomes an additional agent of change even though he does not want his own son to be a catalyst.
‘The Butler’ is well-written and historically accurate. There is buzz of an Oscar for Oprah Winfrey, who steals the show as the butler’s wife, Gloria.
Patron Veronica Whiting, amid smiles at the end of the movie, said it was nice.
Cora Carter said she liked the fact that the film dealt with recent history and it was history through which she had lived. She could relate to the raw emotions displayed in the film, especially during the sit-in scenes.
This writer sensed a parallel and connection after leaving the movie and hearing the sequence of events taking place in Washington DC during the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington.
‘The Butler’ is now playing all over the country and was the number one grossing movie during the weekend of its first run.