You guys, I turned on the heater in my car this morning! Yes, it was only 66 degrees and, yes, it could have had something to do with the ice I was chomping on, but still! The past few mornings and late evenings there has definitely been a hint of fall in the air, and I am so excited. It will take another month before it’s truly here, but it’s coming!
So a few days ago I promised to share my thoughts on The Butler. While John and I were home visiting my family, I was in the mood to take in a movie, and Mom, Joel, John, and I decided The Butler was our choice.
The Butler is the story of Cecil Gaines, an African-American man who served as a White House butler through six administrations and some of the most turbulent events in our nation’s history. The character of Cecil Gaines, played by Forrest Whitaker, is based on a man named Eugene Allen who actually did work as a butler in the White House for thirty years.
Let me start by saying that The Butler was an extremely well-done, beautifully acted, and hauntingly emotional film to watch. The first thing I said after the movie was that if it doesn’t win Best Picture, I may never watch The Oscars again. Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey also did a truly phenemonal job in their roles, and I will be very surprise if they aren’t at least nominated.
To be perfectly honest, I was hesitant about going to see this one. This period of our history and our treatment of African Americans has always been a hard subject for me. I know we all find it deplorable, but for some reason it affects me on a very deep and profound level. Watching movies or TV shows with these kinds of themes are always very hard for me, and I’ve found myself shying away from them recently.
However, against my better judgement, I decided to see this film, and this is quite possibly the “worst” (in terms of this subject area) that I’ve seen. I was crying from about five minutes into the movie until the lights came back up, and I had a very hard time getting a hold of myself after it was over. John and I actually had a conversation about it, and decided I really need to stay away from these films in the future.
All that being said, this movie was exceptional. It has wonderful themes about fighting for a cause bigger than yourself, how complex a father and son relationship can be, and the wounds that have divided a nation. I absolutely recommend that you see it. Just know that it’s very tough to watch, and be prepared to come out of it pretty shaken.
So I’ll leave you all to ponder that for now. Have a wonderful evening!
Have you seen The Butler? What subject matter is really hard for you to watch?