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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Butler was a serious disappointment, and it had two main problems. #1: The casting. Casting big-name actors in the role of the presidents or other minor parts was one of the biggest faults of the film. In this movie, there was never Dwight Eisenhower or Nancy Reagan on screen, it was always Robin Williams or Jane Fonda playing Dwight Eisenhower or Jane Fonda. This was especially a problem since all of these roles consisted of a combined two minutes or less. It was the same case with James Marsden, John Cusak, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard, Liev Schreiber, Mariah Carey, etc. #2: The first point can be classified in this one as well: Throughout the film it never felt like you were in the life of Cecil Gaines, the entire time it felt like I was watching a movie. Beginning with all the big-name actors, down the directing. Every single scene you could see the directors intention with that scene - this scene I'm supposed to laugh, this scene I'm supposed to cry, I'm supposed to like this character, I'm supposed to like this president because I'm supposed to laugh in this scene where he's sitting on the toilet asking for prune juice. I never felt like I was allowed to make decisions for myself. I really wanted to like this movie because of the great story that was in it, but it was very poorly done.
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