Lee Daniels’ The Butler

The_Butler_posterIf Lee Daniels’ purpose was to uncomfortably remind film goers of the atrocities our country committed towards African Americans (and still are), he successfully did so within the first five minutes of the film. And throughout the film, he continues to educate us – and remind us – of these horrors that many Americans choose to blindly ignore, yet beautifully allows us to root for the character development of a butler, which Forest Whitaker beautifully played in award winning fashion. The film is inspired by the true story of Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House for 34 years, servicing eight presidents. Similar to Forrest Gump, this film not only takes us on a history lesson, but reminds us where we were and the possibilities of where we can go. Subsequently, the film concludes with the election of Barack Obama, reminding many – and some who have chosen to ignore – of the forward movement his election propelled us to, a sight many, including this famous butler, never thought they would see because of their experiences. Yet, in a post Trayvon Martin time, this film was bigger than a Hollywood creation. It was a reminder that America is not the greatest country in the world, and we are currently fighting an old and new civil rights movement. What films have recently failed to do is to leave the film goer with a lasting impression and self-reflection. Along with the grander message of this film, performances by Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey were¬†phenomenal. I will bet money that this film, along with the director, lead actor, and supporting actors, will be major contenders this award season. I’d even bet to say that this film will eventually be preserved by the Library of Congress, similar to Forrest Gump in 2011. | A+
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