LAST NIGHT we watched Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It is based on the life of Eugene Allen, a butler in the White House for decades, where butlers are historically black. It stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, who witnesses the changing of the guard in the Oval Office through thirty-four years of service.
It was a good movie, addressing some of the realities of racism in these here United States. It had an excellent cast in the lead roles, but check out this supporting cast:
Robin Williams as President Dwight D. Eisenhower
James Marsden as President John F. Kennedy
Liev Schreiber as President Lyndon B. Johnson
John Cusack as President Richard M. Nixon
If that irony is too mild for your taste, best of all is Alan Rickman as President Ronald W. Reagan and … Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan! The rest of the star-heavy cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Redgrave, Minka Kelly, Mariah Carey, and Clarence Williams III.
If heavy irony in casting tinkles your funny keys, then this may be your type of movie. But you have to look it up on your own if you want to know what it is to see it.