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4.3 out of 5 stars479
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 15 July 2014
Bought this as wanted to see it at the cinema but never got round too...Lovely heartwarming film...few tears shed, but enlightening and brilliant performances all round.. would recommend..
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on 7 May 2015
Watchable but not great. Nice to see Reagan portrayed as the good man and well meaning president that he was - compared to others - and some funny moments and good performances but basically this is for people interested in black American history and told from a black slave perspective. How ironic that right now a black president is having severe problems with race relations and rioting...! The black man in America is arguably poorer and more hopeless now than he was under Reagan.
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on 1 January 2015
A great performance by Forest Whitaker, although the character itself is not that likeable. Good to see David Oyelowo getting immersed in the African-American experience. He was convincing as a teenager as he still has that boyish look about him. Oprah Winfrey looked good in her sixties costume and it would have been good to see her dance a bit more, especially with an Afro wig in seventies costume. Lee Daniels brought out a solid performance from her, but I still think there's more in her that could be exploited in these period pictures as she has a whole history painted on her face. Alan Rickman puts in a convincing performance as Ronald Reagan, and Mariah Carey looked good as a cotton picker at the beginning, although with no dialogue you could see holes in her acting. Terrence Howard puts in a fleeting performance, and both Cuba Gooding jr and Lenny Kravitz are convincing. Vanessa Redgrave had the right presence, but I don't think her American accent was convincing. Overall it's a good film.
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The Butler - DVD

I was a bit dubious about this film but it turned out to be very good. Forest Whitaker gives a fine performance as one of the White House butlers during the administrations of the 1950's and 1960s.

Highyl recommended...a thinking man's film with no car chases or gun battles.
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on 28 March 2014
It is always interesting to me to watch how American film-makers turn their racial problems that actually lasted longer than apartheid in South Africa and sugar coat it into something that was somehow miraculously solved and that everything in the garden is now A-OK! The Butler's journey from being totally oppressed as a Black American to being employed as a White House butler (by a totally racist white admin officer) through his turmoil with one of his politically activist children and ultimate recognition for his service is exceptionally played by Forest Whitaker. However, none of the rest of the cast, including Oprah Winfrey as his wife, come close to the standard he sets. Ultimately this is Whitaker's film: the story is told in typical Hollywood style, so be prepared for lots of sugar coating on what should have been a much 'harder' film.
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on 19 July 2015
As other people have said, this is a really well crafted and well acted film. It's a moving and powerful story of Cecil Gaines' struggle to survive, the role he achieves at the White House, his 'silent witness' position as the rich and powerful reveal or conceal their attitudes towards black people in the USA, and the tensions within his family as a younger generation become angry and militant in the fight for equality for everyone. The film ends with the election of Obama and the hopes he embodied, which is particularly thought-provoking given recent killings of black people and increased coverage of the numbers of black men who end up in jail in the USA.
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on 5 May 2014
This is an excellent film. Very good acting from all involved.
Would recommend this film as a film to see.
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on 1 June 2014
This film takes the viewer on a journey through recent American History. Forest Whitaker is excellent in the title role and Oprah Winfrey as his wife is also excellent in her role. Woven in with the history of the various presidents is the family's personal struggle. An excellent. Film, worthy of more than one viewing.
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on 6 April 2014
This film is based around one man and his family and how racism affects their lives. Whilst the father accepts his place in society and works throughout his life as a butler, serving white people and moving up the ranks to work in the White House to serve various Prime Ministers, his son rebels against the boundaries set upon the black community of their time. It shows how racial conflict changes during the Butler's lifetime and by the end of his life, he seems to find peace with the world.
I really enjoyed this film.
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on 4 February 2015
Very interesting film although a little slow in parts. The actors playing the main characters were excellent. This film certainly brings home the struggle for equality in USA. Hard to believe the Civil Rights movement had such a struggle and it really wasn't so long ago that it all happened. Throughout all the events, once established as a butler in the White House, the butler retains his dignity, even when those in power who should have known better, made some really crass comments in front of him.
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