In a magical world of fairies and goblins, two worlds live secluded from each other, with neither knowing of the other's existence. But one day, a beastly creature stumbles out of the forest, causing the fairies to question just what lives in the woods. With the two societies meeting for the first time, hostilities emerge, leading to the kidnapping and ransom of one of the fairies. With all-out war on the horizon, to falls to an elite group of heroes to venture where no fairy has gone before, and prove that perhaps the two races aren't as different on the inside as they are on the outside.
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This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and The Paperboy) bristled with unexpected life. By contrast, this star-packed drama uses a true story to trace the Civil Rights struggle from the 1950s to the present day. But it's been so fictionalised that it feels kind of like a variation on Forrest Gump.
Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) grew up on a Georgia cotton plantation, where the cruel master's kindly mother (Redgrave) taught him to be a house servant. Years later, he marries Gloria (Winfrey) and moves to Washington DC, where he gets a job in the White House as a butler to presidents from Eisenhower (Williams) to Reagan (Rickman). His job description is simple: "You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve." And yet as the nation grapples with its racist culture, he has a quiet influence on each leader who moves through the house.
Whitaker narrates the film in drawling flashbacks, while the story flickers between Cecil and his eldest son Louis (Oyelowo), an activist who is involved in every key moment in the Civil Rights movement. And their younger son (Kelley) is sent to Vietnam. So it's like a condensed version of late 20th century American history, made notable by the lively cast of cameo players including Marsden (as JFK), Schreiber (LBJ), Ellis (MLK) and Cusack (Nixon), plus Fonda as a lively Nancy Reagan.
Continue reading: The Butler Review
Among the supporting cast of 'The Butler' to appear on the red carpet at the New York premiere were 'Speed' star James DuMont and 'Treme' actor Colin Walker. Other arrivals included Aisha Taylor from 'Ghost Whisperer', former baseball star Hank Aaron and 'Hairspray' actor Elijah Kelley.
During WWII, black pilots trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, were sidelined in the segregated US forces. But Colonel Ballard (Howard) gets them an assignment accompanying bombers on raids in Italy. Led by Major Stance (Gooding), the team includes hot-shot Lightning (Oyelowo), self-doubting Easy (Parker), eager Junior (Wilds) and the even less-defined Smoky (Ne-Yo) and Joker (Kelley). As they square off against their Luftwaffe nemesis (van Riesen), the Tuskegee airmen's distinctive red-tailed planes develop a first-rate reputation that begins to break down racial barriers.
Continue reading: Red Tails Review
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In a magical world of fairies and goblins, two worlds live secluded from each other,...
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and...