I suppose this review should actually be titled “Review: Lee Daniels’ The Butler”, because of a silly dispute with Warner Bros. which required them to turn the simplistic title of The Butler into something that sounds vaguely ridiculous. But title disagreements aside, The Butler is an interesting amalgam of a film, which works as a whole even when some parts don’t hold up as well as they should. It’s one part biopic, one part fiction, with a healthy serving of Forrest Gump along with a good deal of racial politics. It has an immensely impressive cast and a solid balance between the family drama at the heart of the film and the somewhat gimmicky side of the story. Plus, it’s one that’s destined to tug at the heartstrings.
The Butler tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who began life as a boy picking cotton on a Georgia plantation in the 1920s and ends up as a butler in the White House. Continue reading