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Film Vlog: Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

Lee Daniels' The Butler is loosely inspired by the real-life story of Eugene Allen who served as a butler to eight presidents (Truman through Regan, 34 years), the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines as an unassuming man who witnesses history close up and personal. The Butler is a classic Hollywood film in that it hits every mark to be considered as Oscar bait: a incredible ensemble cast, Forest Gump style structure, sweeping musical score, and of course, OPRAH. There is a sliver of artificial lining greased on the film that doesn’t ceases to dissipate and permeates more vigorously throughout the film as the characters seem like cardboard box cut outs of African American people and the bluntly obvious emotional marks of storytelling to win the crowd over. While the film is easily forgettable, Whitaker and Oprah deserve some recognition attempting to scratch the surface to their potentially complex characters that was displayed. Daniels’ wants a Hollywood hit, well damn, that is exactly what he is going to get. C+

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