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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

3 Reasons Why I'm Not Excited About the New Trailer for THE BUTLER

Forest Whitaker as Eugene Allen/Cecil Gaines in The Butler

Today director Lee Daniels released the trailer for his upcoming film, THE BUTLER, which details the life of Eugene Allen, who served as butler of the White House throughout eight presidencies from 1952 to 1986.

Though the filmmaker has assembled an impressive cast of actors to portray several well-known political figures for the feature, I can't say I'm particularly interested to see it. But before I explain why, here's a little more about the film (courtesy of

Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Nelsan Ellis, Zac Efron, Woody Harrelson, Nicole Kidman, Jesse Williams

Synopsis: THE BUTLER, based on the screenplay by Danny Strong & Lee Daniels, is inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election” about Eugene Allen (Whitaker), an African-American man, who served as a butler to eight Presidents in the White House for over thirty years. From this unique vantage point, THE BUTLER traces the dramatic changes that swept American society, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.

And here's why I'm not excited about it:
  • The Paperboy is still fresh in my mind, and I have the PTSD scars to prove it. Plus, Oyelowo, Efron, Cusack and Kidman are in this too! It's just too soon. 
  • Though I liked Django Unchained, I'm so over the butler/maid/slave narrative that the mere thought of seeing another one makes my eyes roll to the farthest point in the back of my head.
  • Because I can't seem to forget what Terrence Howard reportedly said about Oprah Winfrey's breasts, no matter how hard I try. And since I can't, you shouldn't be able to either. Watch this
Maybe I'll come around in time for the film's release on October 18th. Maybe...

In any case, check out the clip below and tell me, will you see THE BUTLER?


Brittani Burnham said...

I see Whitaker, Kravitz, Leo, Marsden, Oyelowo, Shriber, Kidman, Ellis, Harrelson and Rickman and I get excited.

Then I see Efron, Pettyfer, Howard, Gooding Jr, and Carey and I just don't think I can look past how their weak acting.

Dankwa Brooks said...

I think the trailer is awesome! I'll reserve judgement until I see the full film, but I can overlook bad or sub par acting if it's a small role. The WHOLE picture is what matters to me.

I also try not to make judgments on actors/directors from one picture to the next. One picture is one picture. I've known some EXCELLENT "one hit wonders" in front of and behind the camera.

The whole "butler/maid/slave narrative"? Shrug. "We didn't come over on The Nina, The Pinta..." THAT was part of our entrance into this country and it seems like the film will fold some civil rights stuff into that narrative.

I'm looking forward to it!

Daniel said...

Looks like it could be overly schmaltzy or actually moving, it's hard to tell from the trailer in all honest. Since it's being released in October, I'm assuming the studio has a sense this could be an award contender.

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