Now that the Academy has rolled over and played dead for a picture ennobling the Black Experience, this and the next post will deal with two films with similar themes that the Academy completely ignored.
Beginning with "Lee Daniel's 'The Butler' ".
You kind of know you're in some sort of trouble when you give a possessive credit in the title to a director you've never heard of.
Seems, what's the word, pretentious?
This pretty much sums up the film.
I disliked it less than I disliked "Twelve Years A Slave", a dead horse that I will continue to flog at any opportunity, but that's not saying much.
This "Butler" film is essentially two movies.
One follows the butler character as he serves various Presidents in a career in the White House spanning generations.
The other follows his son, who has morphed himself into an Eldridge Cleaver type.
It's difficult to determine which is less interesting.
They each give each other a run for their money.
I was a little less impartial to the Butler's story.
On to the scoring:
Is it interesting?
On rare occasions.
Is it controversial?
It seems to strive for it, but it really isn't.
Is it a story worth telling?
I saw no need.
Is it good storytelling?
It was told rather tediously.
Is it well written?
There wasn't much to work with, and the writing certainly didn't transcend it
Is it well cast? Well played? Well shot?
I suppose all three. That's the kindest thing I can say about it.
Is it too long? Too short?
A little long.
Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?
I cared about the butler. I didn't care about his son.
Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?
You don't even think about it in those terms.
Do you think about it after you've seen it?
Not a bit.
Is it funny?
Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?
Maybe if you're black. Maybe.
Is it impressive ?
It didn't impress me.
Overall grade: C-.
It was really just pageantry..
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."