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.
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César Caro Cruz
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)
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A Biographical Triumph That May Be a Bit Dry Sometimes
I got tickets to see this film a day early because this has been on the top of my watch list for months and I was not disappointed. Lee Daniels' The Butler contains all the elements you want in a bio-pic with spot on portrayals and an efficient script that smoothly goes through all the time periods. The film is a true journey that may have you at the brink of tears or have you joyfully laughing. At times it tries to hard to make you feel any emotion, the movie falls victim to a formula where there is a tragedy about every 10 minutes and it only becomes a cliché rather than being effective. On the other hand though, you practically get oozed through Cecil Gaines's eyes which will simply astound you. The movie has been branded as a "Black Forrest Gump" which actually is pretty accurate except that the main character, Cecil Gaines, isn't as charismatic or as fully characterized until the near end. It was a minor disappointment to see that the numerous presidents throughout weren't that involved in the film as I would have liked but their respective portrayals were jaw dropping, not only in their appearances but also with their realistic performances and mannerisms. James Marsden representation of J.F.K. is by far the closest you can get performance wise, Marsden captured both his youthfulness and good heartiness as well. This may be a little dry sometimes and I was somewhat exhausted near the conclusion but the real emotional peak is at the end. Lee Daniel's shows his dominance both dramatically and emotionally in this enjoyable yet still flawed film that you should definitely take a look at.
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