Sunday, December 18, 2016

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

IMDb plot summary: 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.
Directed by Lee Daniels. Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I had heard so-so things about this movie going in, but I found it affected me much more than I anticipated. It's sort of an overarching broad look at the civil rights movement through the 20th century, but I really liked how they showed it both through the eyes of the father (with his quiet proximity to the white men with the power) and his son (with his fierce determination to fight for his rights). It did a really excellent job of building the narrative of one man seeing how his country changed from what it was in his childhood all the way through the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The movie is a tad bit long and sometimes tries to tackle too many things, leaving it spread thin in some spots, but overall it's a lovely movie, and I liked it.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Butler > Definitely, Maybe
The Butler > Murder by Death
The Butler < Kramer vs. Kramer
The Butler < Repulsion
The Butler < Billy Elliot the Musical Live
The Butler < Inherit the Wind
The Butler < The Impossible
The Butler > A Christmas Carol (1951)
The Butler > Australia
The Butler > Gone in 60 Seconds
The Butler > The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Final spot: #619 out of 2551.

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