The buzz surrounding Lee Daniels' The Butler made me want to check it out right away. The cast alone is a force to be reckoned with. Led by Forrest Whitaker and Oprah, the movie also has Alan Rickman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, and so many more! Usually movies with such a dynamic cast end up falling short in quality, because there are just so many people to keep track of. That definitely was not the case in this movie.
The Butler focuses on the life of Cecil Gaines(Whitaker) who starts off growing up on a cotton plantation and then makes his way to work as a butler. The movie touches on pretty much all the major civil rights issues from the time period. And throughout a number of years as Gaines starts working in the White House with President Eisenhower and only leaves at Reagan. I enjoyed the movie because it hit so many important aspects of the time period and really went for. The movie had some very graphic scenes and surprisingly some very funny ones. There was a nice balance when it came to that.
Another major part of why the movie was so good is because the cast was phenomenal. Like I mentioned earlier, usually with movies with such a big prominent cast it doesn't really work out. But everyone had their moments and gave it all in the performances. I am 100% sure Oprah will be nominated, if not win an Oscar this year. She was absolutely fantastic. My favorite of the cast had to be Cecil and Gloria's younger son, Charlie played by Elijah Kelley, he was hysterical! As was Cuba, he is too funny! Oh and I have to give props to Lenny Kravitz. He ruined Cinna for me in Hunger Games, but he really brought it in this movie. I thought he was great.
The only thing that bothered me was the factual basis of the movie. After seeing it, I went to see how much was accurate, and I was disappointed. It is clear that a lot of the storyline is not real, just because some things seem impossible. Aside from the fact that there was a man who worked at the White House for a number of years, there is very little truth to the storylines. It is safe to safe the movie is very loosely based off the life of a man named Eugene Allen. That ruined things for me a bit, because I love historical movies. And the fact the movie promotes that it is based off a true story, I expected more truth. But for a movie that is just historical fiction, it was great. Definitely covers a very important time in our countries history that is overlooked too often.