The Butler1 web

The Butler 15

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DIRECTOR Lee Daniels
CAST Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Cuba Gooding Jr

Inspired by the true story of a butler in the White House who served under every president from Eisenhower to Reagan, Lee Daniels’ sweeping period drama provides a riveting account of the Civil Rights Movement. Forest Whitaker is mesmerising as Cecil Gaines, an unassuming but dignified African-American who witnesses history close-up, as well as seeing the dream come true: a black man as President.  (2013 USA 132 minutes)

BBFC advice: Contains moderate violence, disturbing images & one use of strong language
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on BBFC insight)

AUDIO DESCRIPTION AVAILABLE – Please contact the cinema in advance

Lee Daniels tells the story of a White House butler (Forest Whitaker) 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, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.

Even with all [the] contrivances and obvious point-making and familiar historical signposting, Daniels’ The Butler is always engaging, often entertaining and certainly never dull, the latter a fault for which neither the director nor the writer, thus far in their careers, can ever be accused. Each scene has its purpose and complimentary energy, the actors all seem unified in a joint cause and the angle from which the historical panorama is presented remains sufficiently unusual to sustain rapt attention. This is not an artful, tidy or sophisticated film, but its subject and his stationary odyssey are of such a singular nature that, as a great playwright once wrote, attention must be paid to such a person.  Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

UK RELEASE 15 November 2013
RUNNING TIME 132 minutes

Official film website and trailer
IMDB film information