2013 Movie Reviews: The Butler

images-2There are so many Oscar Contenders this year and nobody seems to know what’s going to be the next Best Picture. But now that the contenders are starting to come out, It’s time to take a look at how good some of these films actually are. The trailer for this movie was outstanding, but can it live up to the hype? Will it stand out in the crowd? All I can say is ‘It better.”

Cecil Gaines (Forest Whittaker) is hired as a butler to serve under President Eisenhower (Robin Williams). However, unlike other butlers, Cecil continues to serve under Presidents Kennedy (James Mardsen), Nixon (John Cusack), Johnson (Liev Schreiber), and Reagan (Alan Rickman). During his life, Cecil plays a part in many American acts, particularly the Civil Rights movement, which his wife (Oprah Winfrey) and son (David Oyelowo) directly act in.

This film is the prime example of a movie that just keeps getting better as it goes on. At the beginning, it wasn’t really grabbing me. But as the film went on, it became more gripping, more powerful, and by the time the credits were rolling, I was literally in tears. The screenplay is clever and quotable. Lee Daniels’ direction is nothing short of pure, raw emotion.  The editing makes the film seem breezy. Even the sound design is spot on, and I have no idea why I can’t find the score on iTunes, because it’s brilliant.

Forest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey are phenomenal in this film. I don’t see actors when I watch them, I see people. Now granted, I don’t know if either of them will win Oscars since Whittaker already has one and Winfrey is one of the richest people in the world, but I suspect both will earn well deserved nominations. The remainder of the cast do very well, even if they don’t have enough screen time to make for likely Oscar nominations.

Earlier this month, I predicted this movie to win the Oscar for Best Makeup, and I would not be surprised if that happens because the aging and transformation effects are so believable. Overall, while The Butler does start out a bit slow, it picks up fast and definitely deserves to be nominated in the Best Picture category. It’s easily the best film i’ve seen so far this year and it will be interesting to see if the remainder of the year can top this.

*****

One thought on “2013 Movie Reviews: The Butler

  1. You have WRITTEN a wonderful analysis of the movie, and you ‘ve made me want to see it, and I will,. GREAT WORK.

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