As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.
While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Cecil Gaines was a sharecropper's son who grew up in the 1920s as a domestic servant for the white family who casually destroyed his. Eventually striking out on his own, Cecil becomes a hotel valet of such efficiency and discreteness in the 1950s that he becomes a butler in the White House itself. There, Cecil would serve numerous US Presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the American Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum even as his family has troubles of its own. As his wife, Gloria, struggles with her addictions and his defiant eldest son, Louis, strives for a just world, Cecil must decide whether he should take action in his own way. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
I had good expectations but upon actually seeing this movie...
...I found it about as exciting as watching paint dry. The story is so uninspired that I wonder what the director was trying to say. That white people are almost all bad? That there is fulfilment in simply serving and acting like a piece of furniture while overhearing momentous things while pretending not to?
I find now, helped immensely by this movie, that I'm getting awfully tired of Forest Whittaker and his trademark lazy eye. According to this movie, dumb luck in stumbling across a series of kind benefactors allows a man to achieve a pretty high calling for an unschooled southern boy, and Whittaker ends up carrying serving trays for a series of laughably portrayed presidents for the next four decades. (unfortunately they ignored the Carter administration and they could have had Ron Howard or maybe Chuck Norris appear as the peanut farmer cum President) For that matter, the way the casting choices for presidents went they should have kept going and got Steve Martin as Bill Clinton (with a cameo by Roseanne Barr as Monica Lewinski) James Cromwell as Bush Sr., Pee Wee Herman as Bush Jr., and Will Smith for Obama. In the end though, nothing happens. The Butler has a son who joins the Black Panthers, another who joins the Army (all fabrications) and a wife we hear has a drinking problem and then we hear she doesn't anymore. (!) And you look at the clock and see that there's still forty minutes of run time left and the paint hasn't dried yet.
23 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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