The Butler is a drama based on the true story of Eugene Allen, who was a White House Butler for eight different presidents.
Allen was a butler at the White House from 1952 through 1986. He served Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. That’s a whole lot of presidents.
The Butler will show a number of presidents and how Allen helped them throughout the years. It’s sorta like Forest Gump or Benjamin Button, but set in the White House. He must have had a fascinating life as he watched one man after another serve as the most powerful man in the world.
There’s a similar film for a Canadian butler but… Oh, wait. No there isn’t, because who would care about that crap?
Lee Daniels is the writer/director for The Butler. He directed Precious, which is his main claim to fame, though he also produced Monster’s Ball.
October 18, 2013
Alex Pettyfer … Thomas Westfall
John Cusack … Richard Nixon
Lenny Kravitz … James Holloway
Robin Williams … Dwight Eisenhower
Alan Rickman … Ronald Reagan
James Marsden … John F. Kennedy
Minka Kelly … Jackie Kennedy
Jesse Williams … Rev. James Lawson
Forest Whitaker … Cecil Gaines
Liev Schreiber … Lyndon B. Johnson
Cuba Gooding Jr. … Carter Wilson
Nelsan Ellis … Martin Luther King Jr.
Terrence Howard … Howard
Jane Fonda … Nancy Reagan
Melissa Leo … Mamie Eisenhower
Vanessa Redgrave … Annabeth Westfall
Mariah Carey … Hattie Pearl
Oprah Winfrey … Gloria Gaines
Yaya DaCosta … Carol Hammie
David Oyelowo … Louis Gaines
David Jensen … MacGeorge Bundy
Aml Ameen … Young Cecil
Dana Michelle Gourrier … Helen Holloway
Colin Walker … John Ehrlichman
Mo McRae … Eldridge Huggins
Donna Duplantier … Barbara Gaines
Colman Domingo … Freddie Fallows
Alex Manette … H.R. Haldeman
James DuMont … Sherman Adams
Pernell Walker … Lorraine
Stephen Rider … Admiral Rochon
Justin Gant … Diner Attacker
Dean J. West … White House Reporter
Ray Gaspard … Pat Buchanan
Forest Whitaker is a badass and he doesn’t get nearly enough work. I’m happy to see him a film that’s clearly Oscar bait, and the historical aspect of The Butler looks good. Also, it has Oprah. She doesn’t miss very often.
James Marsden plays JFK, which is actually not bad, but Minka Kelly, the world’s most insanely hot chick, plays Jackie Kennedy. Neither of them is a terribly talented actor, and it makes me worry that the film will make light of the presidents, like they’re just these white guys who don’t know how things really work, but the Butler does.
At least, I think Lee Daniels looks at things in this way. I assume.
I expect big things from The Butler. Precious was a huge hit for a small film, and this time Daniels has a better cast and a heck of a story that’s actually based on fact. My fingers are crossed.