MARC MORIAL “Everything you are and everything you have is because of that butler.”—Gloria Gaines, wife of Cecil Gaines as played by Oprah Winfrey in “The Butler.” We tend to think of politicians, pundits and school books as the great troubadours of history and shapers of public opinion. But when a movie such as Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” comes along, we are reminded that nothing moves the spirit or traces time like simple storytelling. The film not only offers a rare glimpse inside the everyday world of the dignified men in tuxedos who silently serve American presidents and their guests, in two hours it covers four decades of civil rights history as seen through the eyes of a Black White House butler who worked through eight administrations.
Tag: The Butler
Forest Whitaker stars as Eugene Allen in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” (CNN Photo/The Weinstein Company) by Jane Caffrey (CNN) — “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” follows the life of Cecil Gaines, an African-American butler who serves in the White House under eight presidencies. Inspired by real-life butler Eugene Allen, Gaines (played by Forest Whitaker) witnesses the rise of the civil rights movement, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Vietnam and the election of the Barack Obama, all while simultaneously balancing the highs and lows of his family life.
This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Oprah Winfrey as Gloria Gaines, left, and Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in a scene from “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Anne Marie Fox) by Jake CoyleAP Entertainment Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The day before Oprah Winfrey began shooting “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” she was at the White House, talking to the president. Her access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (this particular trip was for a 2012 campaign interview) is considerably greater than her character’s in the film. She plays Gloria Gaines, the wife of a long-serving White House butler (Forest Whitaker), whose service spans seven presidents and decades of civil rights sea changes.