The Butler is a powerful biopic of a White House butler who served multiple presidents during his career. The film uses an incredible ensemble cast to not only tell the story of Cecil Gaines, but to use his time at the White House to tell an even morte important story of the Civil Rights Movement.
The acting in this film is absolutely breathatking. Everyone is absolutely fantastic, from the wide array of Hollywood stars to the more unfamiliar faces. The casting hit its mark and then some. There is no doubt that Whitaker will receive a nomination, if not the award, for Best Actor when Oscar time comes around. You feel everything he does, even if you do not necessarily relate fully to his struggles. His transformation into old age is mesmerizing. Even the littlest action like attempting to keep his hand steady as he pours his wife's coffee completely draws your attention. Speaking of his wife, Oprah Winfrey gives a surprisingly excellent performance as Cecil's wife Gloria. It is easy to be weary when you see her name in the cast list, given as the talk show host usually does not appear in things playing anything but herself. With this role, Winfrey seems as though she is a natural and has been acting her entire career. Although so many of the film's characters are played by stars, and every single one of them gives a great performance, it is hard to focus on anyone other than David Oyelowo when he is on screen. He gives remarkable life to Gaines' rebellious son Louis. His character has much more depth than any of the others.
The direction and writing of the film are really great. Minus a very cliche, "I brought you into this world; I can take you out of it", mumbled by Cecil during an argument with his son, every line brings something to the story. The film is long, but there are no filler scenes. They are packed full of important historical events and Daniels shows them in a unique way. The film has the ability to almost effortlessly put the audience through the ringer when it comes to emotions, even from the very first scene.
The Butler is a fantastic film that should not be missed. It brings life to so many important events, some being of a man's life who everyone should know about. What an outstanding film about an incredible character.