The Butler is a multifaceted movie drama that chronicles the life of an African-American White House Butler. The movie gives an inside view of life in the White House from Presidents Eisenhower to Reagan. The film also deals with a father-son relationship of the butler and his oldest son. This is set with a backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and how each president addressed the issues which lead to sweeping implementation of rights for African-American. The movie can be very intense when dealing with the weightier issues of the drama. This is tempered with humorous and heart warming scenes.
The star-studded cast under the direction of Lee Daniels brings the characters to life. Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey star as the butler and his wife. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terence Howard appear in supporting roles. Such luminaries as Jane Fonda and Alan Rickman help bring life to the presidents and first ladies. The movie is rated PG-13 because of language and intense adult situations.
With the season of big-budget movies officially over, the bar was set pretty low for this weekend's new release. Still, even with expectations at a modest level, only one of the week's new movies managed to avoid disappointing box-office numbers. As expected, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" was the winner of the week's domestic box-office race. Estimates had the Forest Whitaker-Oprah Winfrey vehicle pulling in $25 million in ticket sales over the weekend. That's a strong showing for a movie that reportedly only cost $30 million to make.