Saturday, August 24, 2013


Historical drama

Ami Ameen: young Cecil Gaines
Forest Whitaker: the adult Cecil
Oprah Winfrey: Cecil’s wife Gloria
David Oyelowo: their oldest son Louis
Elijah Kelley: their youngest son Charlie
Terrance Howard: the Gaines neighbour Howard
Adriane Lenox: Howard’s wife Gina
Jim Gleason: R.D. Warner, White House administrator
Cuba Gooding Jr.: White House Head Butler Carter Wilson
Lenny Kravitz: his co-worker James Holloway

Mariah Carey: Cecil’s mother Hattie Pearl
Vanessa Redgrave: the plantation’s matriarch Annabeth
Robert Williams: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
James Marsden: John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Minka Kelly: First Lady Jackie Kennedy
Liev Schreiber: Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States
Nelsan Ellis: civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.
John Cusack: Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States
Alan Rickman: Ronald Regan, 40th President of the United States
Jane Fonda: First Lady Nancy Regan

This overview of the historical struggle for civil rights in the United States is based on a true story of one man who saw it from a different perspective. There are several notable performances but Oprah is definitely the standout and may well wind up with an Oscar nomination.

Although a tad too long at two hours and 12 minutes, it covers a lot of ground that should not be just brushed over. The only disturbing thing was the slight resemblance most of the actors portraying the Presidents had so I spent more time trying to identify the actor rather than paying attention to what was being said. But at least I got the gist of it.

 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking.

Apparently Warner Bros. Studios owns the title “The Butler” from a 1916 silent film so the producers came up with this awkward title, crediting the director above the more appropriate real title.