“The Butler” – A lifetime of service

My wife and I saw the film “The Butler” this week and found it a powerful experience. Although “based on a true story” and perhaps not totally accurate, it movingly portrays an important point of view. It moved us to tears. For this week’s Saturday Reblog, here’s a review I found on a WordPress blog. I hope you’ll enjoy both the review and the movie itself.


the butler oprah winfrey forest whitakerDir. Lee Daniels
(2013, PG-13, 132 minutes)

The Butler is rough around the edges with notable flaws, but it’s also refreshing in one important way: It’s a story of racial inequality in America that takes the point of view of a black family. There’s a tendency in major motion pictures to tell stories about ethnic minorities or Eastern cultures through the point of view of white tourists (The Impossible) or white saviors (The Blind Side, The Help). Even science-fiction isn’t safe: in the 22nd century-set Elysium, a group of poor Hispanics need Matt Damon in a big metal body suit to rescue them.

Some of those films are better than others, and assuming a white point of view doesn’t by itself make a film good or bad, but taken together they establish a frustrating trend: do studios think a wide audience needs white protagonists…

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One response

  1. […] Prima facie, the movie is presented to the public ostensibly as an “entertainment.” It’s actually extremely well acted. Zac Efron is maybe a protagonist? It also stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, and Macy Gray. (I didn’t know it was Macy until researching for this post.) The hot mess is directed by Lee Daniels, the same guy who recently directed the most excellent emotional roller coaster and thought provoking ride The Butler. […]


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