Written May 29, 2016
Although my wife & I had a "private showing"(we were alone in the theatre), we both agreed to exit half way into the movie. Unlike "12 Years A Slave", which we both thought was excellent and well performed, "The Butler" missed on most levels. Very disappointing was the directors choices of actors to portray the various presidents-none of which bore even a distant resemblance to the designated presidents. Additionally, unlike many PBS versions of identical times covered by this movie, PBS's depictions were substantially more accurate and compelling.
Written September 03, 2013
The movie is brilliant.. As the movie transitioned through the various presidents, the services past and present related to the butler vs personal issues intertwined with real life events is brilliant!!! I was amazed by the actors chosen to play the various presidents they were excellent. This movie gave us a glimpse of what its was like to live in that time through the eyes of this butler.
The movie is Oscar material.
Written December 22, 2014
According to this, and another article, a lot of the movie was not true. The butler didn't have a second son at all .... So basically his older son didn't exist, didn't join the movement at college, didn't sit at "white" side of the lunch counter, get beaten & taken to jail, wasn't on the burning bus, wasn't in the black panthers, didn't meet Martin Luther King Jr. and his dad didn't ask for forgiveness from his son for not supporting his cause. He did have one son who went to Vietnam but came home alive. I liked the movie but I just wish they would have told the real story without all the embellishments or at least not lead viewers to think that it was true. I guess they just wanted to spice it up...
Written February 13, 2016
The Butler is a must see for anyone who is concerned that racism still exists. Although the setting is the past, the film brings into focus the injustice that still exists in the US today. Freedom to live as equals is still denied African-Americans today. We see it with the inequality of a high ratio of blacks to whites in our prisons, poor education denied to those who cannot afford to live in "better neighborhoods," poor healthcare, and many other areas. The actors protrayed well the hopes of black families while struggling with being black in a white-dominated society. I grew up in the South and remember well separate schools, separate toilets, separate water fountains, separate pay scales, and the prejudice that falsely made whites seem superior while mistreating the black community. I cried at two points: when the butler refused to forgive his son and forced him from their home, and when he took his wife to visit where he was born - reminders very personal.
Written August 22, 2013
Some are criticizing this movie as it is seen through a very specific lens. To be fair, the view is narrow and doesn't well represent excess in both directions.
However, the view you see is to be expected. It s the world as seen from the eyes of Cecil Gaines... a dignified man who has seen and experienced deep hatred and the effects of prejudice and power over which he has no control.
The movie was impactful and had me taking several deep breaths along the way. I left with a new appreciation for those that fought for "the soul of our country." I left with deep respect for a man of whom I had never heard... and the for the quiet dignity with which he carried himself throughout his life.
I learned... I shed some tears.... and spent the rest of my evening in a much more quiet, and introspective way.
Well done. This is a must see.