Excerpt: Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a respectable effort to chronicle the Twentieth Century African-American experience from Emmitt Till’s brutal murder to Barack Obama’s ascendency to the White House. I don’t fault the noble intentions, but what I saw was a film that was telling two stories and could never quite find a way to get both of them together.
Excerpt: Todo es un compendio de lugares comunes, tanto dentro como fuera de la Casa Blanca. Quedan solo momentos, breves momentos. Y la convicción de que el director Lee Daniels (Precious) ha desperdiciado a un elenco estupendo.
Excerpt: The film certainly works in part (Oprah’s just terrific as Gaines’ wife), but if two previous Pennsylvania Avenue films this year were dubbed “Die Hard in the White House,” this one’s destined to be remembered as “Forrest Gump in the White House.”
Excerpt: [The Butler] is, ultimately, an important film, though less through its own merits than its unfortunate rarity as a mainstream American movie about the black experience in the 20th century. Maybe the real lesson of The Butler as a film is that, at a certain point, you just have to be happy with what you can get, which is unfortunate, since that’s the exact opposite message that the story is trying to convey.
Excerpt: El principal problema que le veo a esta película, aparte de ser excesivamente ambiciosa, es que no tiene nada claro su núcleo emocional, y no hace más que irse por las ramas: “El mayordomo” recorre 80 años de la historia de Estados Unidos, y el resultado se podría decir que son viñetas independientes con algunos puntos de unión.
Excerpt: “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is an engrossing and absorbing story about the civil rights struggle as seen through the eyes of an African American butler (Forest Whitaker) who served under 7 presidents. It’s also very heavily fictionalized, which doesn’t make it any less compelling, but bear in mind that the words “inspired by a true story” do not mean that you’re watching a “true story.”
Excerpt: It’s certainly well executed by Forest Whitaker. While the drama can be simplistic, there’s a dignity to his character. It’s his portrayal that raises this material into something rather unexpected and at times extraordinary.
Excerpt: Braveheart’s narration put it best when it said that, “history is written by those who have hanged heroes.” Gaines was sandwiched between history at work and endured history on the home-front and therefore that vice should and could have resulted in a masterpiece. The Butler burned like phosphorus early but fizzled towards a heavy handed conclusion and ‘message’ that lands with the finesse of a sledge hammer.
Excerpt: The Butler was not the film I wanted it to be – an insightful look inside the White House over the years from the butler’s point of view – nor is it a particularly profound or original overview of Civil Rights-era America.