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Lee Daniels' The Butler

• rollingstone.com
 

Yet Lee Daniels' The Butler holds you, provokes you and ultimately moves you. It's a huge task, trying to detail the battle between Uncle Tom-ism and radicalism that divided African-Americans during civil rights movements between 1957 and 1986. And to do it through one man, Cecil Gaines (a stellar Forest Whitaker), a White House butler who served seven presidents, defines risky.

Props for ballsiness to Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious) and Emmy-winning screenwriter Danny Strong (Recount, Game Change). As for the legal ruling that Daniels' name be added to the title to not infringe on a 1916 silent short called The Butler, I'm saying bullshit.

The Butler (sue me, that's what I'm calling it) begins with five words that always arouse suspicion: "Based on a true story." For starters, Cecil Gaines never existed.



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