If Forest Whitaker doesn’t win an Academy Award for his performance in The Butler I’ll be officially convinced that the entire ceremony is rigged.
In life there are general movies that are released. We go to the show, check out the film, and go about our merry way. Then there are moooooooooooovies. You guys know exactly what I’m speaking of. The life changing movies that come out every 10 years or so. The films that leave you feeling inspired and empowered. The films that change your entire mindset, for better. The Butler most definitely fits into these categories.
First I must absolutely applaud Lee Daniels for casting a stellar cast. The Butler consisted of Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, David Oyelowo, and Mariah Carey, just to name a few. The foundation for a successful film had already been laid. Whitaker plays the role of Cecil Gaines, an African American butler who serves in the White House for eight presidencies. Cecil’s journey in White House begins in 1957 and ends in the late 80′s, allowing him to witness some of the nation’s most critical moments in history.
Forest Whitaker who?
The entire cast did a superb job, but Forest Whitaker takes the cake. He literally became Cecil Gaines, from the way he spoke, to the way he walked. I’ve never seen Whitaker stretch himself this far. It’s obvious he covered the logistical parts of preparing for the role by researching, studying, etc. However, it’s also quite evident Whitaker was passionate about telling this story and gave everything to bring the character of Cecil Gaines to life. Forest Whitaker who? This man literally became Cecil Gaines, giving us a Oscar worthy performance.
I never considered a Black servants perspective…
David Oyelowo played the role of Louis Gaines, Cecil’s eldest militant son. From freedom rider to Black Panther, Louis is the African American voice that we’re familiar with, which causes him not to appreciate his father’s loyalty to the White House. I’m familiar with Black “nannies” and caregivers who genuinely love their White families. However, for some reason I never thought about the fact there were Black servants in the White House directly serving the men who were robbing them of their freedom. Imagine the strength it must’ve taken to remain professional in an racially charged tense environment. Just a reminder of everything my people had to endure, yet continued to fight for freedom.
So you’re still reading eh? Go see the film already…
I wish I could tell you the entire story, but that isn’t the purpose of a review, plus I’ll never do it justice. However, The Butler isn’t a simple film. This is something you want to take your children and grandchildren to see. After it’s released on DVD, it’s most definitely one to add to your collection. The Butler had me laughing one minute, and crying the next. The story is raw and uncut, yet for some reason I left the theater feeling beyond empowered. In a world full of racism and hate, I’m extremely grateful that stories like The Butler are being funded.
Based on a true story, here’s a little bit of information about the real butler, Eugene Allen. Click here.
Have you seen The Butler yet? Did you love it? Hate it? Which scene stood out the most and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!