Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Butler: Movie

I don't usually post my movie reviews. But, when a movie hits me, and I think it is worth spreading the word about, I post my thoughts.

I am a history buff, even though this is recent history mainly set in the 1950's and 1960's during the radical 60's.

This is a part of history when I was young, I used to say, who cares about that time. I was a young girl and thought so what.  But, now I realize this was a interesting time.   I do wish I was a teenager during these times to enjoy, and understanding the radical 60's.  But I was not a teenager, but younger.  It was also a scary time for change, especially for Black America.

I never really understood what Black America went through until I saw this powerful movie.  I now understand what was different from this movie, than other Afro American movies.  This is the first hand story of the Civil Rights movement from the Black African perspective.

I think it is time that we finally start talking about it.  It is a part of history that has been hush-hush about, this including the Vietnam War.  It is almost 40 years and it is still not thrust in front and center.  But, perhaps after " The Butler", there is a need to talk about the radical, politically charged 60's.

Recently, I started to notice contemporary history novels are being set in the civil rights era. But, this is mainly happening with white authors, not Afro Americans. I hope that more books, and movies will be set during this time. Not like books, like the Help.  But, book describing the Afro American experience.  For us White people to understand that time from their perspective.

My thoughts of, The Butler.  I am a Southern gal, a transplant from N. J. I living in South Carolina.  Where they still think there is a confederate flag still flying in the state capital.  There still is discrimination in this state.  But, not  talked openly about it.

That said, my girl friends and I went to see the movie. Before the movie started my friends told me the movie got a terrible review from our local Myrtle Beach newspaper.  So, right from the start I was waiting to hate this movie.  The more I watched the more, I loved this movie. Thinking what were the reviewers talking about?   My girlfriend told me what they were criticizing was, too much crammed into the movie.

That is ridiculous because there is eight presidents he worked as a butler for.  There was so much going on during that time.  There were protests, sit ins, Freedom Riders, Woolworth counter sit in,  college riots, black/white segregation, busing, assassination of JFK, and RFK, and Martin Luther King JR., Vietnam.

SPOILER ALERT+++++++++++++++++SPOILER ALERT++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  Finally the last part of his history for this gentleman was seeing for the first time a Black American President, Barack Obama elected in his lifetime.


I so loved this movie, there was a all star cast of Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker,  Cuba Gooding Jr. Mariah Carey, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson.

I would think most people middle age and over would appreciate this movie.  Anyone that did not live during this time may have a hard time relating.  Understanding the time of the radical 60's. unless you know your American history, and presidents, and the time and culture.

The movie, has some controversy surrounding the title of the movie. They had to change the name of the movie from The Butler, to Lee Daniel's The Butler.

The Butler, was first a piece written by Wil Haygood. in the Washington Post. Then Wil Haygood wrote a book with further detail of his life. It was inspired by true events in the life of Eugene Allen, the White House butler.

The Butler, tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond.

I can't give you too much else or I will spoil the movie for you.   I will tell you when the movie was over, there was standing ovation and clapping from the audience.  So, I am not the only one that loved this movie.

 I love movies, and go to the movies with my friends at least once a week.  This summer there was not too many movies I wanted to go to.  When I learned about The Butler coming out, I couldn't wait.    I hope The Butler wins some awards next year.

The actors, took a pay cut just to get  this movie out, and produced. They all knew this was a important film to bring to the public audience.  For Oprah Winfrey to act again after so many years, must speak volumes as well.


Lorri M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan Curtis said...

oops, I deleted the post by accident. She said, Gorgeous review. Hope to see it this week.

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