ONE QUIET VOICE CAN IGNITE A REVOLUTION.
A brisk walk through American history and the civil rights movement in particular, as we follow a black man (Forest Whitaker) who serves seven presidents in the White House from Eisenhower to Reagan. How is the cause best served is the most important question asked in the film. Through the butler’s quiet and dignified way, or through his son’s aggressive, brave battle alongside the early heroes of the movement? Never subtle, and it doesn’t dig deep, but still intriguing and heartfelt. Terrific performances by the two leads, but the star-studded casting of the Presidents is very uneven.
2013-U.S. 132 min. Color. Directed by Lee Daniels. Screenplay: Danny Strong. Cast: Forest Whitaker (Cecil Gaines), Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines), David Oyelowo (Louis Gaines), Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz… Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey.
Trivia: Inspired by real events, chronicled in a Washington Post article. Originally titled The Butler, but renamed after a copyright struggle with Warner Bros. Matthew McConaughey, Mila Kunis and Liam Neeson were allegedly considered for roles. Winfrey’s first role onscreen since Beloved (1998).